Eat Great, Look Great!
When someone gets motivated to improve their eating habits, lose weight or get healthy it always involves the same course of action. They buy a diet book, start counting calories, download a diet app and start an exercise program. Now some of this can be useful for short term success, but if you’re looking for long term success you need to establish a foundation of respect for food. You need to think bigger than a measurement change because from my experience they never last. Just wanting to be skinny or gaining muscle is great but these more often than not lead to obsessive behaviors and shortcuts. We cut out carbs, use harmful dietary aids that don’t work, go on strict diets and exercise way too hard that eventually leads to injury or nutritional burnout. Now how about trying to factor your food choice for the rest of your life on how you want your body to look. Most people treat food like a one night stand they want to know nothing about it once they are through with it.
Let’s start thinking about what this food is going to do for me. Then ask what the repercussions of this food choice may be. How will it affect farm workers and the environment? Our poor nutrition in the United States is the cause of a complete disconnect from where it comes from and a lack of respect for food. Less than 1% of the U.S population are farmers. In fact, we actually have twice as many people in prison than we do farmers in this country. The average American spends 30 minutes a day preparing food when it took 6 hours a day in 1900. Twenty five percent of the food we buy ends up in the dumpster meaning if you buy four bags of groceries one of them will be going in the trash. When you’re not involved in food production it’s hard to have a respect for food. One of the biggest complaints I get is that it’s just too expensive to eat healthy. According to the Unites States Department of Agriculture (USDA) we currently spend less than 11% of our disposable income on food, by far the cheapest in the world. If we look back in 1929 we spent 23.4 % of our disposable income on food.
So what can we do for long term success? How about eating foods that will prevent disease and not a measurement change or eat to lower your health care costs, risk of diabetes and heart disease. Don’t eat food that can be passed through a window like fast food or packaged food. Shop at a farmer’s market because when you do you’re supporting local farmers and sustainable agriculture. This results in eating foods that are good for the environment and the planet. Realize that your food choices influence everything around you. When you realize the cause is bigger than you, hopefully you will have a much better chance of following through. Think beyond bigger biceps, smaller bikinis, whether or not you should avoid gluten and realize what you eat three times a day matters.
1) USDA.gov United States Department of Agriculuture