We complicate our thoughts way too often. If we could follow some basic rules, and over time refine them, then we wouldn’t become so easily discouraged.
From a health perspective, the first rule is to avoid simple sugars. Anything with fructose in it is especially harmful. Cakes, cookies, chips, candies – yes, all those things that taste so good. However, they are directly inflammatory to just about every system in our body and are probably the main mechanism leading to inflammation of our arteries, which results in build-up of plaque.
Processed food. Most food in a box is highly processed and of very little nutritional value. All one has to do is look at the ingredients; most of these are substances that you and I can barely pronounce, let alone understand the harmful effects on our biological systems.
Seed oils. The more research is being done, the more we are realizing these are highly oxidized in their manufacturing, hence being quite inflammatory to our body. If possible, I would stick to olive, avocado oil and coconut oil. Natural fats such as butter and ghee and lard, are much less harmful than the seed oils. Unfortunately, there is still a myth out there that saturated fat is ‘bad’ for us – it is not.
The more we can concentrate on whole foods (those without bar codes), the healthier we will be.
Food aside, probably one of the best things we can do for our health is to practice some degree of intermittent fasting. Yes, not eating, can be a very healthy option. If, by not eating, we can induce a state of autophagy, this helps decrease inflammation in the body (by using fat, not sugar as a fuel). It takes time (mental and physical) to get used to the idea. Certainly, when I began NOT having breakfast (after 2 decades of recommending it to my clients and myself), it felt strange; fortunately I experienced no hypoglycemia feelings, but my mornings were different. Now I have a cup of coffee, and I’m good to go!
There are many many ways to fast, and I believe each of us has to learn what works and feels best for ourselves. I don’t believe prolonged fasts should be done very often. Certainly, Dr. Walter Longo (a longevity expert) might recommend a 5 day ‘mimicking’ fast every 3 months or so for health, not weight loss reasons.
With our present sedentary lifestyle, most of us could easily get away with two meals per day.
So, avoid simple sugars, highly processed foods and seed oils. Along with this, aim for some degree of Time Restricted Eating (TRE), and you are on the road to better health. SIMPLIFY.
Post holidays is a hard time, but the faster you can get back on track, the less guilty you will feel. If you are still struggling with sugar cravings—as always—I suggest you listen to some you tube talks by Dr. Robert Cywes.
You can do it. Never ever give up trying. This is your health, both now and for decades in the future.