Are you stressing over your diet?

This post is about why stressing over eating a perfect diet may actually do more harm than good.

We are coming to the end of our 21 day challenge and you may be looking back over the last few weeks thinking that you failed because you had something that was on the “avoid” list. Or maybe you didn’t get as much sleep as you were supposed to one night. Or maybe you fell back into having something sweet after dinner. I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to stress about what’s already done. But, you don’t need to give up either!

Making a step toward better health :

In my book, eating more meat than refined grains is a HUGE step in the right direction and makes a much bigger impact on your health (positively) than that “wrong” food you ate. When you substitute  eggs and veggies for cereal in the morning, you immediately get more nutrients to your cells that are immediately going to work to build a healthier body. When you eat a chicken salad instead of that sandwich for lunch, you are going to feel better and have more energy that afternoon. When you cook a meal at home instead of stopping at a drive-thru on the way home, you are nourishing your body with optimal fuel instead of fillers, chemicals, and who-know-what that comes in a convenient and grease-stained bag. And after all of these great changes you’ve made, if you end up having a dessert at the end of the day, you’re not going to undo all of the other benefits you’ve gained. You may not be reaching your goals as quickly as you’d like, but look at the big picture.

When you are striving for perfection in your new healthy lifestyle, it’s easy to get caught up in being perfect all of the time. It’s also easy to feel disappointed and frustrated when you aren’t perfect all of the time. The important thing that you understand today is that you should focus MORE on the successes you’ve had than on the times you’ve been less-than-perfect.

The right perspective:

We don’t always have to be perfect, we just need to strive to be as healthy as we can be right now. Take a look at where you are now compared to where you were a few weeks ago. What were your specific goals? Have you given up junk food? Have you started eating more nutrient-dense foods? Have you cut out bread? Whatever changes you’ve made, keep it up and celebrate the fact that your body is benefiting tremendously from those things. You are on your way to better health even if you’re not perfect all of the time.

Put another way, if you eat perfectly 80% of the time and the other 10% of the time is not perfect, then you are going to be healthier than if you only eat perfectly 60% of the time. Keep striving to be as healthy as you can be by making really healthy choices as often as you can.

If you aren’t sure what those healthy choices are, see my series of posts about Primal/Paleo nutrition here:

21 Day Nutrition Challenge : Overview

Primal Info Day 1 : Getting back to nature and tradition

Primal Info Day 2 : Grains, why you should avoid them, and what to eat instead

Primal Info Day 3 : How to eat for optimal health, energy, and longevity

Primal Info Day 4 : A simple and effective fitness program with big results

Primal Info Day 5 : Other Factors for good health

Celebrate!

If your mindset is on getting better and celebrating the successes, you will be able to enjoy your newfound health. If your mindset is on being perfect, (and since we are human we will never be perfect) then you will always be disappointed and you will be too busy beating yourself up to enjoy all of your health improvements!

The next step:

Stay tuned for a post on what to do once the 21-day challenge is over.

I will be hosting another 21-day challenge in November. It will be focused on how to knock out your sugar habit by killing the cravings naturally.

For today, make sure you are not stressing over your diet, and make sure you’re celebrating your better health!!

Best of health,

Danah

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