Healthy Eating in the New Year: Step One

So here you are, at the beginning of the new year, that time when once again you tell yourself you’re going to start eating healthy food.  If you’re going to succeed at this, you need more than a resolution. You need a plan, commitment and dedication to see it through.

First, take stock of your present condition. Where are you diet-wise and how did you get here?  A year from now, where do you want to be? In two years? How will you get there?   If you’re so busy with life that you eat mostly processed foods, you have to recognize and accept the need to make some non-food changes to eat healthy.   If you can’t or don’t cook, how will you break your dependency on such foods?

Do you have the dedication to eliminate all the “disablers”? How will you measure your progress? To make this work, you must be honest with yourself and assume responsibility for what you eat.

Think of your body as a automobile engine. When given the right fuel and simple maintenance, the engine runs well. When fed the wrong fuel, when basic maintenance is overlooked, the performance suffers for it. It’s a simple principal but a necessary one to grasp if you’re to succeed.

Unlike dieting, healthy eating is behavior modification. It’s a lifestyle change that’s long term. Remembering that will help you reduce the stress found with traditional dieting.  The less stress, the more success.

Two things to consider here for success: what you eat and how much you eat. Processed foods and “Super Sizing” are two of the worst things to happen to the American diet. A diet of processed and restaurant foods is one with too many additives, chemicals, preservatives, too much sodium and fat.

Eating in a restaurant, be it fast-food or fine dining, until we’re “full” only compounds the problem. By the time you feel full, you’ve eaten far too much food.  To eat healthy, you need to change how you eat. You need to change your relationship with food. No diet can do that, only you can do that.

Next post: Building the perfect pantry.

Kent McDonald is a Certified Personal Chef, living and working in Phoenix, AZ. (c) All Rights Reserved 2009

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