I haven’t written much about diet because I’m not so good at controlling mine. So I’m particularly happy to post Bridget’s article because her theme ties in so closely with mine. Quality of life is largely about feeling good. Developing an appetite for feeling good goes a long way to establishing a healthy lifestyle.
For instance the only reason I avoid eating heavy late in the evening or having snacks after supper is because I sleep better and feel actually good the next morning. I super enjoy my first cup of coffee at work and can drink it way up into the day. No serious energy slumps during the day. If I eat heavy the night before – the opposite of all those things.
So pick up on her points on how diet makes you feel, observe it in yourself, and take advantage of it. ~Richard
Good health and fitness do not happen overnight. It is a journey. You have to find exercise that you enjoy – activities that you would like to do even if they weren’t “exercise” and that you will look forward to doing often. Over time, you’ll build up your fitness levels naturally and without much effort. Then you use the energy and good feelings you have about exercise to do activities that you might not enjoy as much, such as weight lifting.
Eating well requires a similar approach. You can’t just decide to call off every “bad” thing you’ve ever eaten and only eat “good” things. Taking such an uncompromising approach will set you up for failure. Instead, you need to take a more realistic approach that recognizes that there are no good or bad foods, no strict rules that must be followed, and that eating well actually makes you feel better.
Learning to control your diet doesn’t need to be about deprivation. Here are a few ways that controlling your diet can help to enhance your fitness and make you feel better:
Improves Your Digestion
The typical American diet is loaded with processed foods, fried foods, excess sugar, excess salt and all manner of preservatives and chemicals. This way of eating isn’t natural for your body, and your body isn’t able to process the foods as quickly or as easily as it should. As a result, your digestion suffers. You can experience gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain and other gastrointestinal issues.
By controlling your diet – and eating more fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains – you can improve your digestion and significantly improve the way you feel. You’ll also make exercise easier, which can help you to work out more efficiently and to make greater fitness gains.
Stabilizes Blood-Sugar Levels
Your blood sugar levels can have a significant impact on the way you feel and on your overall health. The standard American diet sends your blood sugar levels sky high after each meal, which will crash shortly after. This results in a cavalcade of problems: low energy levels, shifting moods, weight gain or the inability to lose weight, poor sleep, and more.
You can stabilize your blood sugar levels by reigning in your diet. Even one nutritious meal can be enough to help you start feeling better. You’ll also have more energy to exercise, and will be able to get more out of every session, helping you to improve your fitness.
Think about how you feel after you’ve eaten a large, unhealthy meal: You’re probably really tired. Maybe even nauseous. Maybe even uncomfortable. Now think about how you feel after you’ve eaten a meal that is rich in lean proteins, complex carbohydrates and fresh fruits or vegetables. How do you feel? You probably have a lot more energy and a lot more motivation to exercise and to engage in other healthy habits.
Watching what you eat can make sure that you always have the energy you need to exercise and to just feel better in general.
Your diet is about so much more than your weight. Everything you eat can affect the way you feel and your overall health and wellness. Controlling your diet can help you create optimal health and can enhance your fitness levels, as well.
What benefits do you notice when you control your diet and are eating well? Share your thoughts in the comments!
About the Author:
Bridget Sandorford is a freelance food and culinary writer, where recently she’s been researching Las Vegas culinary arts. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, painting and working on her first cookbook.