In these modern times, eating and living healthy can be extremely challenging— sometimes it even seems impossible. With all the processed convenience foods that are readily available in grocery stores, it can be quite difficult to choose the most suitable and healthiest foods for you.
Understanding nutrition in general is very confusing—minimize a little bit of this, add a little bit of that, stay away from junk. It’s a lot to digest, right? But there are some things you can do to help you focus on superior nutrition. For instance, listening to experts and experienced nutritionists who have learned the secrets to healthy eating.
If you don’t know where to begin, here are six tips from holistic nutritionists that can help you start living a healthy life today:
#1. Crowd Out the Crap
Normally, people who are eager to live a healthy life focus on what not to eat. Their mindset is about controlling and restricting their consumption of unhealthy food. However, studies suggest that this approach doesn’t lead to long-term success. If your mindset is to restrict yourself from all the food you shouldn’t eat rather than focus on self-care, chances are higher that you’ll eventually fall back to your old habits and even come to resent yourself.
Try to change this mindset. Keep in mind that you’re making changes for better health, and focus on the positive outcomes this could have on your life. The goal is to use those positive thoughts to cancel out the negative ones. Expert nutritionists say that you should allow the good to crowd out the crap.
#2. Nutrient Dense, Not Calorie Scarce
Another common misconception about healthy eating is the “quality vs. quantity” type of thinking. For a lot of people, living healthy means you should minimize food consumption—especially if you’re aiming for weight loss. However, this is very unhealthy.
Superior nutrition and health are always about quality over quantity. Even if you’re aiming to lose a lot of weight, focusing on the nutritional quality of the food you eat is always better than limiting the quantity.
Essentially, eating less and counting calories will not help. You cannot give your body enough of the nutrients and minerals that it needs. So rather than restrict the amount of food you eat, try focusing instead on the type of food you eat, especially foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals.
#3. Rest and Digest
These days, we’re occupied with a lot of things. Sometimes we get so busy that we multitask even during meal time, which is how the phrase “working lunch” was coined. However, it’s not a great idea when your intention is to eat and live in a healthy way.
During meal time, you should focus on your food alone. In order to efficiently secrete hormones that help you digest nutrients from food, your body and mind should be in a calm and rested state.
Try breathing exercises and meditation after meals. And see if you can put away your gadgets for long enough to fully enjoy your food.
#4. Unprocessed, Unrefined
One major reason we’re so confused about food is that there are so many options available to us. When we go to the market, we’re inundated with choices. However, most of the boxed and canned foods at the grocery store (basically everything in those middle aisles), are processed, refined, and almost entirely free of any nutrient value. When aiming for a clean, healthy diet, your best bet is to eliminate processed and refined foods—they simply cannot nourish the human body.
Instead, raw foods should be your top priority. They can help you maintain a much healthier diet. For many of us, processed foods may be enticing and convenient, but only unprocessed, unrefined foods can give your body the nutrients it needs. (I also recommend plant-based supplementation.)
#5. Listen to Your Body, Beware of Diets
When you research different kinds of diet programs online, you’ll certainly find tons of them—no doubt about it. You’ll also find lots of testimonials from people who say this or that diet worked effectively for them. However, diets work differently for each and every individual, and it’s difficult to stay on any diet over the long term.
Although certain diets may at least help you start from somewhere, more often than not they will only hinder your efforts to provide your body the nutrients and minerals it needs.
Eating is one of the most personal things you do on a daily basis. And your body works differently from everyone else’s. Accordingly, you should listen to what your body is saying to you instead of chasing after the latest fad diets.
#6. Do Your Best, Enjoy the Rest
Healthy eating is certainly challenging. However, your perspective and mindset are the best indicators of whether you’ll succeed or not. Eating food that equips your body with the nutrition it needs to function shouldn’t be a burden. Rather, you should treat it as the ultimate in self-care practice.
Remember, you are what you eat. Try to focus more on the things that will help you improve or maintain your health rather than thinking you need to deprive yourself. You just need to do your best and simply enjoy the rest.
Every meal you eat is an opportunity to take care of yourself holistically. If you really want to start living and eating healthily, you should start first with your relationship to food. And always remember that self-care must be your priority.
Image from iStock/Rawpixel.