How Can Healthy Eating Benefit Your Mental Health?
We all know that most changes don't happen overnight. Self-improvement is a continuous process, and as someone interested in bettering yourself, chances are you’ll try different approaches to your health and recovery throughout your life. Changing your diet is one approach that might not receive as much media attention as therapy or medication but has been proven to create lasting effects in people who stick to it.
Surrounded by fast food and empty calories, it can be tempting to trade nutrition for convenience or quality ingredients for the intensity of flavor. If you’re committed to making a healthier life for yourself, take steps to educate yourself on the real impact your diet can have. Connecting with a dietary counselor can open up possibilities you may have previously only thought possible through rehabilitation or prescriptions.
Are You What You Eat?
The foods you eat play a central role in your overall physical health, the amount of energy you have, your day-to-day mood, and your mental clarity. Some of the physical, mental, and emotional hurdles you face might even be directly affected by your diet without your realizing it. Until you’ve assessed your diet with an intentional focus on how it affects your mental health, you may be missing out on identifying some significant pieces to the puzzle.
The truth is that most of us haven’t taken the time to decide what we want our relationship with food to be. The ways we view food and eating are some of the earliest connections we form, and addressing them for the first time may take more work than you’d expect. Just as when addressing trauma or deep-rooted personal habits, changing the course of your diet can see the great benefit by availing yourself of a diet counseling service.
What Is Nutrition Counseling?
Nutrition counseling is a science-backed approach in which a professional guide you into the habit of intentionally making changes to your diet to improve your physical and mental health. It involves small behavioral changes, like setting boundaries for your food shopping and consumption. You may also keep a food journal to better understand your eating habits, educate yourself on the effects that different foods will have on your body and mind, and foster healthy eating practices at home and when going out.
Working with a professional diet and nutrition expert to form a food and supplement plan can lead to tremendous results. It can even help create a positive influence upon the people around you - the more other people see you relating intentionally to how you eat, the more they may be interested in joining you.
What Are My Healthy Eating Goals?
When considering your goals for healthy eating, look at the big picture. You may want to improve your physical health, have more energy in your daily life, or experience more positive emotions and fewer negative ones. You may wish to develop healthier eating habits so that you can build up the strength of body and mind for tackling other personal challenges, such as addiction or mental illness. You might want to free yourself from compulsive cravings, such as those brought on by foods high in sugar, sodium, or cholesterol.
Through healthy eating and dietary counseling, all of these and more are within your reach. It isn’t always quick or easy to adjust your diet, but you can start small and see which changes are most effective for you to make now. Of course, remember that ease and moderation are the keys - you don’t want to make such drastic, sudden changes that your whole mental balance is thrown off-kilter.
How Can I Start?
Begin by taking an honest inventory of your eating habits spanning the last month. If you find your overview to be regrettably full of desserts, fatty meats, and salt, you’re not alone. The cold and dark of winter tend to lead people to eat more food, less judiciously - and that’s not even considering the holidays. Assess your diet as it stands, identify your most significant food challenges, and discuss with a professional what steps you can take to start eating for the life you want to live.
It may be best to start changing eating habits that you can see yourself maintaining long-term. While strict diets may yield fast results, they are near impossible to maintain. Balance is key. No foods should be off-limits forever unless you have specific diseases or dietary requirements. When you eliminate foods from your diet forever, you can increase cravings and decrease the chances of long-term success. You can still enjoy treats while living a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
When bettering your health, look at the big picture. If you’re like many people, you may not have considered the impact that changing your diet can have on your life. At Achieve Medical, we understand that your diet plays an important role, not just for your physical health but also for your mental well-being. We take an integrative, evidence-based approach to healthy eating as it affects mental health, and it can create dramatic positive results. Putting in the work to form new habits around how you relate to food can positively affect you and the people around you. By changing your diet, you can improve your emotional stability, build up physical strength, obtain clarity of mind, and approach your life with newfound energy and clarity. As with any attempt to improve yourself, connecting with resources designed for your unique needs can make a significant difference in meeting your goals. Depending on your health insurance, you may even be able to access diet counseling at no cost to you. Call Achieve Medical at (619) 375-3977 to learn more.