We all want to enjoy better health, no? Well, the easiest path to better health is through nutrition. When you follow a predominately whole foods diet, also referred to as clean eating or green eating, you can certainly achieve this.
Why? Because a whole foods diet is mostly plant-based in nature. You’re going to be eating a lot of vegetables (plants), lean, clean meat and poultry, and healthy fats. And you won’t have to follow strict guidelines.
You won’t have to measure carbs, calories, and fat grams. As long as you eat primarily plant-based food that is minimally prepared or cooked, you can still enjoy a lot of health benefits when you eat whole.
Studies show this type of eating can improve the health of your skin and hair. You lower the possibility that you will develop heart disease and several cancers. Your brain benefits in a number of ways, as well. And you can finally lose that stubborn fat and excess weight which has refused to disappear in the past.
One of many studies was conducted at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. This study showed a direct correlation between high plant protein diets and significantly longer lifespans. Those who enjoyed a high animal protein diet didn’t fare as well.
Following a whole foods eating plan can make you physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy. Even though it is very easy to follow, there are a few common mistakes whole food eaters encounter.
The most common mistake beginners make is one that is self-imposed; they are too strict about what they can and cannot eat.
A Whole Foods Diet Is Not an All or Nothing Proposition
If you are like most people, you most likely currently eat a lot of processed foods. Even though you try to put foods in your body that are labeled as healthy, a lot of those foods contain preservatives, steroids, and other man-made ingredients which are not good for you.
The typical person living in a modern society eats mostly food which has been highly processed. This means the natural goodness of that food is removed and replaced with genetically modified organisms, toxins, and other ingredients. None of these modifications are real food.
If you are this person and you decide to give yourself the gift of better health and longevity, which a whole foods diet can definitely deliver, then good for you! After all, you are the only person on the planet who is responsible for your health and wellness.
When it comes right down to it, you are the one who decides what you eat and what you don’t eat. So you are to be commended if you want to boost your mental and physical health by eating right.
This is where most run into trouble when beginning a whole foods diet.
Imagine that you start out with this dedication to eat green, natural, whole foods. Most people who adopt this type of eating plan for the first time are incredibly focused.
Unfortunately, what happens is they become way too restrictive with what they eat. Since they don’t give their bodies enough time to embrace eating minimally processed foods, the process seems like a chore. And it doesn’t have to be.
First time whole foods dieters often go from eating processed foods 90% of the time to eating fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and lean meats 100% of the time. What do you think happens inside of you?
Your body is absolutely not used to this. The foods you have been eating regularly have been programming your mind, your taste buds, and your body to adapt to those foods.
If you have been eating mainly processed foods for decades, don’t be super restrictive when you change to whole foods. In the beginning, start slowly; go into this gradually.
A Few Baby Steps Can Help You Walk 100 Miles
Start this journey slowly and methodically. Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. The longest journey begins with a single step; you eat an elephant one bite at a time; so on and so forth. You get the idea. Start with baby steps.
Aside from reprogramming your body and your mind, you need to also change your external eating habits. What you and your environment look like when you are eating clean, fresh, healthy whole foods is vastly different than the experience of eating highly processed foods and fast foods.
One of the hardest things for smokers to overcome when they try to kick the habit has to do with their physical actions when smoking. For example, sitting down with a cup of coffee is a physical cue that gets the body and mind ready to smoke. And there are other actions such as tapping a cigarette down to make the tobacco more dense and keeping a pack of cigarettes in a dedicated place.
So a smoker must beat physical habits as well as the internal desire of the body to smoke. The same is true when you switch to a healthy whole foods diet.
Begin by simply replacing one unhealthy meal each day with a whole foods meal. Do this religiously for a week or two. Then commit to two meals a day for a few weeks. Maybe you will eat nothing but whole foods every other day for your first month.
However you approach this beneficial and healthy way of eating, start off slowly. Eventually ramp up the process as your body begins to adjust. In this way you will avoid one of the most common mistakes made by beginners to the whole foods way of life; one that often leads to failure.