If you are ready to live and eat healthy, get rid of all your diet pills and fad diet booklets. Teach yourself about a healthy lifestyle, and maybe even follow the guidelines of the food pyramid. All the fad diets work less than they advertise, and even if they did work, you would gain all the weight back after you went off the diet.
Many of the more rigid diets can’t be sustained in the long run, so they are setting you up for eventual defeat. Instead, assess the food theories that you come across, and if they make sense to you, incorporate them into your healthy eating program.
Many foods that are unhealthy in larger amounts are not as serious if used in smaller quantities. Foods like refined flour, fat, salt and sugar won’t hurt you if you don’t use them often, and if you only use small amounts. If you try to cut all of everything that is unhealthy out of your diet, you may lose interest and give up. Try to cut salt out when you cook, and use natural sugar alternatives, like molasses, maple syrup or honey instead of sugar. Wholemeal flours, breads and pastas should be eaten and potatoes generally avoided, but they aren’t too harmful in smaller amounts, on rare occasions.
Whenever you eat, your body will develop an affinity for the foods you eat and how often you eat them. This will result in your body having a discipline of its own, without you having to impose one upon it. You don’t need to make your idol the newest fad diet, or follow diets like cultists. You can break food rules as long as you don’t do it too often or to extremes.
Eating healthy doesn’t have anything to do with excessive worry over calories, obsessive eating habits or self-denial. A healthy diet is one that is balanced, positive and natural, and it becomes a way of living, not a “diet”. Enjoy an occasional dessert. It won’t kill you. Just don’t eat foods like that to excess. Even chocolate is healthy, in moderation.
One healthy diet is called the Okinawa Way, based on the diet of the people who live on the island of Okinawa. They have almost none of the diseases we are cursed with, such as some cancers, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. They live long lives there, and they eat natural foods. They eat good amounts of soy foods and fish, but no red meat or dairy. Of course, they eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruits.
The islanders all engage in gentle, regular exercise, into their senior years, and their philosophies on life help them to lead quiet and gentle lives. They make the valid point that being healthy doesn’t only mean eating healthy, even though that is a definitive part of it. It also includes exercise and diet, and it incorporates a dimension that is non-physiological. Seafood and fresh vegetables and fruits, along with their beliefs and gentle nature, make them a model for the Western world.