7 Ways to Conquer the Stress of Healthy Eating, For Good
The no-time-for-sleep scholar. The tough-as-nails busy mother.
The “so much to see” traveler. The highbrow lawyer.
We all have something in common…
…A bold, individual calling that makes planet Earth the masterpiece that it is
You are fiercely independent and pave your own path.
You know what you want and you go for it.
…Yet for some reason, there always seems to be somebody right there, lurking over your shoulder, just dying to tell you how you should and should not live.
Every time you turn a corner, there’s another ridiculous “fact” or “discovery” you’re expected to drop everything in your life to accommodate for, down to what you’re putting on your plate.
There are rules you need to follow if you want to eat ‘clean’, ‘healthy’ ‘light’, ‘paleo’, in ‘the zone’ or ‘LCHF’… ”
There are things you need to completely eliminate if you want to be “beautiful like everyone else.”
The media religiously bombards you with unrealistic standards of unattainable figures, implying that you should probably follow suit if you know what’s good for you…
And then you read things like this:
…Suddenly it’s as if common sense no longer qualifies you to make your own decisions!
You feel confused and even lost.
Then you think you have finally found a solution:
But then, you continue your research and you read this:
So where does all this leave you?
Left behind in a turbulent sea of lies and solutions without knowing which way is up or which way is down.
Deep down, you know you’ll never look like a super model, but something inside us still encourages us to try.
According to the Canadian government 73% of all Canadian women are trying to lose weight and 37% percent will feel anxious when thinking about their weight.
So there you are, drowning somewhere in between your thoughts and random suggestions, not sure which problems you have and which ones you should adopt. The entire process is exhausting.
“Which way will be faster?”
“Which way will be cheaper?”
“Which way will actually work?”
“Do I want pills or do I want a powder?”
“Should I give up carbs or give up dairy?”
“Or maybe, both?!” *Gasp!*
Sadly, these are not the questions we should really be asking ourselves if we want to see results, but these are the questions everyone seems to be preoccupied with.
We constantly focus on the end goal or the aesthetics, but not what really matters: our health. And with so many get-thin-quick schemes and fad diets, it’s hard to tell what’s really worth a damn anymore or what we should actually be doing with our time.
4 dress sizes in 30 days? That sounds healthy. And plausible.
Oh, wow! A powder I can sprinkle on my double cheeseburgers everyday
and still rock a bikini? I’m sold.
So what really works? The definition of what works is what is sustainable; this means something that you can actually keep up with.
You should work with something that still allows you to live your life.
If you decided to completely cut carbs, for example, is that something you would really be able to live up to? Do you really see yourself never eating them again?
What about when you travel? Are you going to skip the baguettes in France? The pasta in Italy?
Or on your child’s birthday, are you going to make some sort of zucchini dish for your five-year-old and his friends?
No! No one wants that! Eat the cake!
Depriving yourself is never the answer.
And cutting out every source of carbs for the rest of your life is…let’s just be honest here…never going to happen.
These drastic types of diets are unrealistic, and even more so unhealthy.
You don’t have to bog yourself down with lists, telling you what you can and can’t have. This will only overwhelm you.
Just keep it real, slowly introducing more and more healthy things into your diet.
Slowly understanding YOUR specific needs.
And it IS ok to treat yourself now and then.
Balance is key when it comes to nutrition.
Balance is what needs to be learnt.
Healthy eating is a lifestyle and something that takes time to properly develop, but is well worth the effort.
It may seem like a lot to take in, but it’s really not as difficult as it seems when you follow my program.
You just say the word, and I will guide you, brick-by-brick, to building the foundation of your health.
“So how does this work exactly?”
I’m so glad you asked! Allow me to introduce myself.
I am Sofia Abdelkafi, Registered Nutritionist and founder of “The Club.”
The Club is an online, step-by-step nutrition counseling program using videos, interactive tools and exercises to help you truly learn the foundation of healthy eating.
This isn’t your typical hand-you-a-meal-plan-and-throw-you-to-the-wolves type program.
I will teach you with the building blocks of nutrition and how to incorporate them into your everyday life.
The ultimate purpose of ‘the Club’ is for you to become independent, for you to be able to take your own decisions, create your own menu.
I want you to break free from the diet swirl and I want you to feel in control.
And don’t worry; you’ll never tire of this platform! Every two weeks, a new class is released with new videos and more content. Again, the object is to get you to truly understand nutrition so you never have to question yourself or what you’re eating again.
Have any questions, comments, or successes? You can share your story with me and all the other members on the group chat! And I am always there for you to answer any questions, look over your food journal, or even check out your food pics.
So go ahead, I know you want to! Come check out The Club and all we have to offer.
In the meantime, here are 7 ways you can fight the diet overwhelm and keep things simple:
#1: Stick to the basics
“What is best, a sweet potato or a regular potato?”
It’s still a potato at the end of the day!
“Should I put kale in my smoothie, or spinach?”
They’re both good for you, so either one is fine!
…You’re missing the point.
The object here is not to be a food chemistry expert, but to simply make sure you’re getting the nutrients that you need.
It doesn’t matter what vegetable it is or how you cook it, or what fruit it is and how you slice it. What matters is that you’re eating the nutritious fruit or veggie in the first place.
You don’t have to conduct a lab experiment before every meal. Just think about the obvious. Is coffee bad for you? No. Is coffee with three tablespoons of sugar bad for you? Yes.
Don’t stress, just keep it simple. As long as you’re keeping healthy foods around, you’re on the right track. Before you know it, healthy eating will become second-nature.
And once you start making these changes, then you can take it to the next level and work with me to balance everything out.
Things will fall into place.
#2: QUIT COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHER PEOPLE
I put this in all-caps because it could not be more true. This is probably one of the biggest obstacles out there as far as self-improvement.
It is pointless and destructive to compare yourself to others, regardless of who it is.
It doesn’t matter if it’s the strikingly gorgeous woman on this month’s cover of Cosmo, or the woman to the left of you in yoga class every Tuesday with perfect arms, this person is not you.
Everyone is built differently and will experience things differently. What works for one person may not work for you. Instead of setting unrealistic goals for yourself, focus on your best qualities and how you can make them even more awesome (if that’s even possible).
We all have flaws, but we also have things unique to each person that makes us beautiful. Now go find those strengths and work it!
“The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.”
#3: Throw out the scale (or at least hide it somewhere)
A lot of you have been there, obsessively mounting the evil little contraption permanently residing on your bathroom floor, possessing no other purpose than delivering you with news you seldom want to hear, crossing your fingers each time that this day, THIS day, will be the day you can finally say goodbye to that pound.
Unfortunately, this usually isn’t the case.
But in no way does that mean success was not achieved.
Many people are often misguided into thinking that the weight takes precedence over the figure. This is simply not true.
For instance, you could have two men standing side-by-side, with the same height, same weight, and same BMI, but because of their shapes, one look 20 pounds heavier. One has 19 % body fat while the other, 32.
Or maybe you’ve suddenly gained two pounds in the last two days. What gives? It’s most likely water weight, possibly caused by excess sodium in your diet.
As you can see, quite a few simple things like composition, shape, and water weight can affect the number you’re getting, so don’t fret.
Frequently checking the scale is a surefire way to set yourself back.
Not only will you start to become frustrated with yourself, but the added stress will actually possibly make you gain weight.
Try making a date with yourself in the mirror, instead. It could be once a week, once a month, once every solar eclipse, doesn’t matter. Just make sure to take the time to really appreciate your body, and not just the shape of it. Watch your skin begin to glow. Bask in your own majesty as you watch your hair magically become smooth again. These are all small details that make a huge difference if you take the time to look. Lasting progress starts with your health, and your health starts with what you put in your body.
#4: Take time to eat
This is a such simple concept, but it is so, so important. It’s an absolute necessity to take time out for you and your body.
You must know how to live, and that starts with taking the time to sit, appreciate your meal and what you put in your body.
Your mind + body relationship is the most important one of all, and one you should always invest in.
Spend the extra few minutes it takes to grab your favorite tomatoes from the Corner Market, even if it is on the other side of town.
Give yourself the time to really sit down and enjoy your meal, every day that you can.
Take the time to learn each ingredient…how they smell, how they taste, how they feel, how they make you feel.
Enjoy that time with your body, you’re nourishing it. You deserve it just as much as your body does!! Have fun learning the simplicities of eating healthy and then share it with the people you care about! There’s nothing like cooking a fresh meal you feel good about and sharing it with those you feel even better about.
#5: When in doubt, ask yourself, “Would I feed this to a child?”
Would a kid be satisfied with only a small side-salad for lunch? A Slim Fast Bar? Or would they still be hungry and begging for something else?
Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you have the excuse to starve yourself. Feed your body like you would a growing child, as if you were still developing and nutrition was still crucial…because it is!
We never grow out of that. Our bodies will always need nutrients to function at their highest potentials. You wouldn’t drive across the country with no gas in the car… It’s the same concept with your body.
It is your vessel and you have to keep it energized. It’s your entire support system, mentally and physically, which are both greatly affected by nutrition.
#6: Ask yourself, “Do I see myself eating this way forever?”
I’ve met so many men and women who would think to themselves : ”Hm, I didn’t eat breakfast… well never mind, I’m saving so many calories!”.
The sad truth is, you’re really just destroying what little metabolism you have left. When you deprive your body of the nutrients it needs to naturally sustain itself, it goes into survival mode and holds onto everything it can, especially fat.
And when that dreadful day comes and you finally give into those cravings you’ve been fighting back for so long, it will all come rushing back…Every pound you slaved to keep off will quickly accumulate and you’ll have to work that much harder to burn off the extra calories as your metabolism builds back up.
We can’t just dive, head-first and full-throttle into the intimidating ocean that is dietary options. We can’t just permanently remove cheesecake or wine…things that we know will make their way back, and act like we’re ok…
And we don’t have to! Instead, try mixing and matching different foods. That double-fudge shake you had on Friday? It’s ok, because you’re eating a grilled chicken salad now. It’s all about a balance.
Don’t waste your time agonizing over what you have to decide to live without this go-round. Do just the opposite, get creative! Have fun creating your own recipes and welcoming new and healthy ingredients to your palate.
So before even considering something drastic like cutting your calories in half or saying goodbye to ice cream forever, really envision what you would be like if you actually kept up with that. That way you can prevent a possible slip – or landslide for lack of better words.
#7: Filter out all the distractions and negative influences
Last, but not least, be sure to weed out all of the distractions and negative influences. They will only slow you down.
This is YOUR journey and YOUR choices.
Watch out for all the amateurs prancing about, running their mouths as if they really know something, when in reality they just spent 5 minutes on You Tube and suddenly think they’re a health prodigy.
These are not the people to listen to. They aren’t really there to help, nor do they have the education or training needed to make these calls. That’s why it’s important to always check your sources.
“So who do I listen to, then? Where do I even begin?” you might ask yourself. Well the answer is simple…The best place to start is always with a trained professional, such as myself.
My name is Sofia Abdelkafi, and I am a Registered Nutritionist.
Join me today in my 8-step program so we can start building the foundation of your health, together.
Every ‘body’ is different. What works for one person may not be the solution for you. That’s where I can help.
Sofia Abdelkafi Registered Nutritionist.
Special thanks to Micha Bradley.