Two weeks and two days have already passed since those New Year’s Eve fireworks lit up the sky. Sixteen days since the majority of people confessed their New Year’s Eve resolutions to their closest friends. Three hundred and eighty-four hours have managed to go past and now suddenly the momentum is starting to wear off. If you are one of those people who made a new year’s resolution to start eating healthy but you have now found that your running out of motivation, then this blog is for you.
Everyone says they want to eat healthy. But what does that actually mean? Healthy eating is consuming a range of meals that provide you with the nutrients you require to be healthy both physically and mentally in order to feel good and be active in our every-day lives. We need to consume adequate amounts of all macro-nutrients; protein, carbohydrates and fats. Whilst not forgetting about the importance of including a broad range of micro-nutrients; vitamins and minerals. Humans must receive micronutrients from food in the majority of cases since our bodies are unable to synthesise vitamins and minerals. Each food's micronutrient content varies, so it's essential we consume a range of different foods to acquire enough vitamins and minerals. Each vitamin and mineral have a distinct purpose in our body, this is why an appropriate intake of all micronutrients is required for optimal health.
But how do we ensure that we are able to consistently eat a balanced diet that incorporates all the important macronutrients and micronutrients? First things first, you need to create a healthy mindset when it comes to eating. Well, how do I do that?! In order to have a healthy mindset, you need to first have the ability to have a “growth mindset.” People with a growth mindset, as defined by Stanford professor Carol Dweck in her book Mindset, think that their success is contingent on time and effort. Those with a growth mindset think that by putting in the time, effort, and energy, they can improve at something. They understand that things are always changing around them and the need for adaptability is required. They are aware that failures can and will happen, but understand that is part of the growth process. It is the process that is important here, not the product. They will learn from their failures, so they do not make the same mistake twice. People who have a growth mindset when it comes to nutrition, want to make life-long changes, and improve their lifestyle for the duration.
On the other hand, someone with a “fixed mindset” see their qualities as fixed traits that cannot change. They think that their basic nature determines whether they are excellent or poor at anything. Someone with a fixed mindset believes that any kind of adversity is devasting and will often “throw the towel in” at the first sign of it. They are usually focussed on the outcome, rather than the process, and as a result will usually have unrealistic goals when it comes to nutrition. If you feel that you may have a “fixed mindset” then don’t despair, just like everything it takes practice to change.
Once you have a growth mindset, the ability to have a healthy mindset for nutrition will easily follow. You will make daily food choices that align with your goal of changing the process not the outcome. Instead of looking for quick fixes, you will endeavour to learn about the importance of each macro and micro nutrient. You will be honest with yourself with any obstacles and failures on the journey and will adapt and learn from them. You will seek solutions to your barriers.
Sorry, if you were looking for a list of ten things you should stop eating in order to be healthy in 2022 or even a compilation of exotic different “superfoods” to have every morning. But I assure you, practicing and developing a growth mindset is worth way more than any overpriced goji berry smoothie!