Warning! No pictures ahead.
But do you really need any?
One of the most common conversations I keep having with people is about the importance of ditching fatty and sugary commercial foods that are so tasty that you can’t stop eating it and craving it when you’re not eating. Some of my friends and even some of my family seem to not understand it at all: why should I stop eating cookies (cakes, butter, etc.) when I was able to lose (or maintain healthy) weight while eating them before? And the question I want instantly to ask is, That was when? Ten-fifteen years ago? Well, for some people it’s been much longer since, but even for people like me, it’s been about 6 years since I could eat anything I wanted and be in a perfect shape. At the time I was finishing school my diet consisted of pizzas, sandwiches, about 2 litres of Cola per day, 2 to 3 packs of milk chocolate which I loved to eat along with Naan bread-like wraps and tomato juice. And not an inch on my waist would appear, not a pound on the scales would add. That time is long gone, so it is for almost anyone of you who went past the age of 20. We don’t have the teenage metabolism anymore, sad but true.
Still I know that some people can pull it off – they can eat tons of unhealthy food and stay thin. But the key word here is unhealthy. It’s not always about weight, it’s not always about the way we look, it’s about how HEALTHY we are. If you’re healthy on the inside, you’ll be glowing healthy on the outside. I know that some foods are so tasty that it’s hard to steer clear. But is it really worth indulging yourself on a daily basis when all you get from it in the end is obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes?
It’s not only about commercial food I’m talking here, it is also about what you cook at home. Say you eat steaks daily. Have you ever checked how much fat it contains? Saturates? Cholesterol? Or you add cream and butter to everything you cook. Have you ever read the labels? I suggest you go and read them now. Rummage through your fridge and pantry and check every label. If you don’t know what to look for, then look for Sugar, Fat, especially Saturated Fat and Cholesterol, and Sodium (Salt) contents. Pay attention to suggested serving sizes and the percentage of listed above nutrients (if they even deserve to be called nutrients) and think how much of it you eat in one day. You may be very surprised how much overboard you go with some of the numbers.
I don’t tell you to ditch all those things once and forever. Just revise your diet and try to find healthier substitutions. Instead of butter use unrefined oils like Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Rapeseed Oil, instead of full-fat dairy choose low fat, prefer Natural Yogurt to Mayo. It is simple, you just have to make first step and commit. Instead of cookies and cakes from the shop, you can make your own. Google some healthy recipes, and in time I will post some here too. If you like chocolate sweets, check my healthy Truffles. The list is countless. Even if you don’t like cooking, once you see that you can make something delicious that you enjoy, you might change your mind about that. Give it a try!
There are obviously going to be some things that you will still crave for. For example, for me it’s Tiramisú. I especially love the ones of Supervalu’s own brand. What to do about them? Set yourself cheat days. I recently decided to convert to Vegetarianism due to its multiple health benefits, and ideally I’d like to become Vegan, but at the moment it is quite hard for me to avoid eggs and dairy in some products I buy. And since going vegan I wouldn’t be able to eat things like Tiramisú at all. For this reason there are weekends! I eat vegetarian/vegan food during the week (no cakes and sweets though, and I don’t even crave them so much with plant-based food) and on the weekends I allow myself to have Tiramisú or a hot chocolate. This system works if you know exactly when you have your cheat days. It’s easier this way and it will keep you sane, because we all know that by depriving ourselves of things we love will lead to emotional instability.
But really, if you still don’t know what saturated fats, sugars, sodium and cholesterol do to you, google it, read some information and make your choice. It is better that you understand it now, than before it’s too late.
That’s my lecture for today. Stay fit, healthy and happy!