Is your 2021 NY Resolution to improve your health?
As we say goodbye to 2020 and welcome the new year, it may be time to say goodbye to unhealthy diet habits as well. While it's never easy to make changes, having the right motivation can greatly impact how we perceive and take on the challenge of changing. Adjustments to diet will also positively impact the other facets of health including mental or emotional wellbeing. Choosing to care for your body out of a desire for better health is a game changer when motivation is scarce.
Dedicating energy to changing habits requires individual motivation, because the key is not to make a temporary adjustment. Successful changes are made by creating personalized adjustments that fit your particular needs. If you are looking for a specific diet (i.e. vegan, low-carb, gluten-free, etc.) to adopt in the new year it is best to consider what your individual body needs, and then determine if one of those options suits you.
Michael Wilson (Owner of The Forge) works with athletes and adult clients in the business of sports medicine and nutrition. “There is a misperception of the word diet...to adults or athletes; if you're going to commit to an eating regimen it’s not for six weeks and then stop,” Michael said. To add some perspective, he compared a person’s lifestyle to an animal’s: animals do not have a temporary diet, but consistent food choices that fit in their lifestyle, per say.
Before you start a new grocery list or commit to a diet it is important to know what the options are and what they mean. “Simplest way you can do it is to get your food in its rawest form,” Michael said. As a general rule it is best to stay away from processed foods when possible. When you make grocery selections ask yourself these questions, “How many ingredients does this have? How many can I pronounce?” Michael has another strategy for grocery shopping: “When you go into a grocery store, stay on the outside perimeter, that's what you want- produce, dairy, meats. And when it comes to meat, lean towards grass fed beef. Fruits and vegetables are the easy stuff,” he said.
Michael works with college athletes who experience the effects of high stress levels on physical health, and how poor diet choices directly impact mental health. “It’s not always what they are eating but it’s the stress of life itself,” he said. He encourages athletes and adults to practice moderation when they make food selections in the cafeteria or grocery store.
When you exercise control over what goes into your gut you are able to better control your mood and things like alertness as well. “Everything that you can have, or have had, has to have some moderation to it,” he said. A diet does not have to be fully restrictive, but moderation and discipline are key when it comes to avoiding an excess amount of bad calories. This is key in maintaining the motivation to change diet habits, because it is beneficial to your overall health rather than just the physical side.
Don’t let the desire to change diet habits intimidate you. Instead, choose to improve your health all the way around by taking care of your body the way you deserve, and find what works for you.
For more information, you can reach go to Michael's website here
Written by Macey Kennedy
Edited By Jonathan Desai