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The Healthy Eating Mistake Most Canadians are Making

Canadians want to be healthier. The value of a nutritional diet, a regular exercise regime, and better day-to-day habits is now a clear route to a longer and better quality of life. Healthier lifestyle habits can also help guard against chronic diseases and painful symptoms. There is something standing in the way of Canadians' goal to maintain a healthy body weight and keep up with regular habits.

Business Insider interviewed registered dietitian Andy Bellatti and exercise scientist Philip Standforth to get to the bottom of the widely asked question, "why do I keep gaining back the weight?" It turns out there is a common theme between people who gain back weight and stop eating healthy and people who maintain these changes over a longer period of time.

Fundamentals over Fads

The primary reason Canadians are not able to maintain healthy eating changes is because they look at it as a diet instead of a lifestyle. Taking on restrictive eating habits set people up for failure. Before you make changes to your diet ask yourself, "Could I maintain this for the rest of my life?"

Following a trending diet often has the same results for most people. You take on extreme restrictions or habits, lose weight short-term, gain back the weight while falling into old habits, and start again. This cyclical process gets tiring both on your mind and body. So what is the solution to break this cycle?

Breaking the diet cycle can be done by creating manageable goals that can be slowly integrated into your diet and everyday life. Don't set yourself up for failure with extreme goals. When you start eating healthy you don't have to eat foods you hate or settle for bland flavours. Find health foods that you enjoy; this makes eating healthy feel less like a chore.

Where to start

Making lifestyle changes is difficult. We become accustomed to our habits and unhealthy habits can be hard to break. It's important to know that healthy choices can also become habitual. Start small by making minor improvements to your regular routine. Once you start feeling better as a result, you will feel motivated to continue. These are a few do's and don'ts that can help transform unhealthy dieting.

The Don'ts

  • Extreme liquid-only cleanses
  • Dropping all carbs
  • Dropping all sugar
  • Obsessing over food consumption or diet guilt
  • Fasting then bingeing
  • Setting extreme weight loss goals in short time periods

The Do's

  • Drink more water daily
  • Cut out sugary drinks
  • Add more vegetables to each meal
  • Make long-term yearly goals
  • Plan meals and grocery trips
  • Eat mindfully and slowly

Creating a better life with better health

Taking care of your health can really transform your life. Everyone can make small changes to improve their current routine. What goals do you want to accomplish? Does your current lifestyle match the lifestyle you aspire to? Take time to reflect on these questions and set realistic goals to start your journey to better health.

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