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A Practical Approach To Healthy Eating
I have been doing push-ups five days a week for over 25 years. My arms are pretty strong but it did not happen overnight. I did not do push-ups for a couple weeks or months and then stopped. I had to make push-ups a habit if I wanted to continuously get the results I have.
Exactly the same holds true with healthy eating. You will never be healthy, eating healthy foods occasionally. You have to make healthy eating a habit if you want to obtain nutritional health. People jump on the “band wagon” of healthy eating when they read books or view websites that talk about nutrition. While many of these books and websites tell you what you should eat in-order to be healthy, they fail to teach you how to make healthy eating a habit. Thus in a short period of time when temptations come, people fall right back into their old unhealthy eating habits.
What is a Habit? According to Webster’s dictionary a habit is “a behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance.”
Can you see that if we simply apply this principle to healthy eating we will be on our way to vibrant health?
Bad Eating Habits:
Bad eating habits do not develop overnight. For most people these habits began forming when they were kids. Thus one reason why many adults have a hard time breaking their bad eating habits is because these habits have been a part of their lifestyle for many years.
Why Do We Eat Food?
There are two main reasons why we eat food. One is to supply fuel for our body. The other reason is for pleasure. Unfortunately some of the foods that gives us pleasure are unhealthy.
Most people make their food selections based on what they see, smell or taste. Look at these three sentences: That pie sure looks good! That pie sure smells good! That pie sure taste good!
Notice that all three statements involve food and pleasure. However the food that is producing the pleasure (in this situation the pie) may or may not be good for you from a nutritional standpoint. That is why we need to be wise in our food selections and not simply leave it up to our sense of sight, taste or smell.
Eating Healthy Can Be Enjoyable:
Some people think of eating healthy as being boring and tasteless. I think that one reason they feel this way is because most of the commercial ads we see promote foods high in calories, fat, or sugar and only a small percentage of food advertising is done for fruits, vegetables, grains and beans. Thus if there was more nutritional education, more and more people would find eating healthy to be pleasurable and tasty.
How Healthy Eating Habits Changed My Life:
In 1998 my wife finally talked me into going to the doctor to get a check-up. I was not feeling sick but she clearly said that it was a good idea to get a yearly physical examination. Thank God I listened to her.
I have been athletic all my life. I run 18 miles a week. So when I went to the doctor I was not expecting to hear the bad news he gave me. He told me I had borderline diabetes.
Diabetes can be very dangerous if not treated. It is one of the leading cause of death in the United States. It is a disease of the pancreas that causes the body to stop producing the insulin it needs to regulate blood sugar.
My doctor told me that I did not need to be put on medication, however he suggested I start reading some books on healthy eating. That was the beginning of my path to healthy eating habits that turned my health situation around. Today I can honestly say that I am in excellent health. I feel great, I sleep great, people tell me that I do not look my age, I maintain a healthy weight, I do not take any type of medication, my blood pressure is normal, my blood sugar is normal, my cholesterol is normal, my immune system is strong, and the list goes on.
It is great to be in good health and I thank God for it. However I do not believe that I am healthy because of chance. I strongly believe that one main reason that I am healthy is because I take personal responsibility for my health. Making healthy eating a habit is a great part of this responsibility. Our physical bodies have laws that are governed by proper nutrition. If we violate these laws by consistently eating unhealthy foods, we are going to get sick.