Saturday, 30 March 2013

Do you really need all those expensive health foods? An artificial lifestyle creates stress and anxiety. Low-cost food substitution, the preferred approach

This is a wake up call for those who believe that they cannot reduce their risk of falling sick. When it comes to health, evil is watching you closely at least three times a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Nevertheless, the truth is so hard to accept that few people want to make the effort to change direction.

Do you really need all those expensive health foods?

Although millions of books about weight-loss and dieting are sold every year, have you observed improvements in the health of people you know? Pricey organic items have become popular in supermarkets, but have you witnessed those products having a positive effect on someone's health?

Most people's health-improvement attempts are fraught with waste and disappointment. Despite great intentions and strenuous effort, the tangible results are often negligible. Do most weight-loss plans and prescriptive diets fail because they are unnatural and expensive?

An artificial lifestyle creates stress and anxiety

What is unnatural goes against the grain. Trying to push people into radically new habits disrupts their psychological stability. On top of that, prescriptive diets often prove impractical and time-consuming. No wonder that many men and women give them up after a while. Who wants to lead an unpleasant and constrained life?

Take heart and stick to your objective of getting in better shape. There is a better way to achieve that goal, a more effective approach that takes into account the psychological aspects of self-transformation. The method that really works is called rationality.

Human beings are essentially logical. We can be fooled for a while, but ultimately, we come around and begin to ask tough questions. We want to make sure that we are advancing on the right track. We want to experience short-term progress in our long-term endeavours. We want to see beneficial results from our commitment.

Low-cost food substitution, the preferred approach

Low-cost food substitution should be the preferred short-cut to losing weight and improving our health. Forget about purchasing costly exotic vegetables. Don't bother with high-ticket packaged products that promise magical results. Instead, make inexpensive changes in your lifestyle, little by little.

Acquiring healthy habits at your own speed is more powerful than making radical lifestyle changes that cannot be sustained. You may for instance begin by replacing high-fat meat by simple fish, such as trout or halibut. Pick up a sort of fish that is readily available at your local supermarket and whose taste you enjoy.

Another short-cut to a better health is replacing prepared desserts, such as apple pie or ice cream, by simple fruit. Eating a modest apple for dessert instead of chocolate cake is a low-cost habit that anyone can acquire without much difficulty. You may for example peel the apple, cut it to pieces, mix it with low-fat yoghurt, and sprinkle it with cinnamon. This is easy to do and delicious.

When you replace prepared desserts by fruit, choose varieties that are abundant and inexpensive in your area. Keep always some fresh fruit on your office desk, in case you feel the need to have something to eat between meals.

Drink water instead of carbonated drinks

A third short-cut to a better health is drinking water instead of carbonated drinks. In many areas of the world, drinking mineral water is safer than tap water. See if you can purchase your mineral water at the local supermarket in discount packs and save some money.

At the office, it is a good idea to keep a small bottle of water within reach. Drinking a fair amount of water every day allows our organism to function better. If you can heat water and make some healthy tea, so much the better. Green tea is generally considered a healthy drink, but many other types of tea have positive qualities. Try out different sorts and see which one works best for you.

Once you start on the road towards a better health, there are no limits how far you can go. The trick is to take small but relentless steps. Replace unhealthy habits by rational ones. Get rid of negative influences and embrace a thoughtful approach to living.

If you spend some time reading cooking books, you will realize the possibilities of cooking your favourite meals in healthy ways. You may for instance learn to make pizza at home by mixing yeast and whole-wheat flour. Making pizza dough by hand is not difficult and does not take long. A whole-wheat pizza with tomatoes, tuna fish, olives, and onions is delicious and healthy.

Make up your mind and start moving in the right direction

Rationality demands that we advance slowly and that we enjoy the way. Babies take a year to learn how to walk and three times longer to speak in complex sentences. In dieting, weight-loss, and health improvement, a progressive transformation is usually the one that lasts.

We only live once and little is gained by making ourselves endure unnecessary hardship. Never choose suffering or deprivation if a better option is available. Radical diets can make your days bitter, rarely better. Persistent action guided by reason is the short-cut to a better health.

We are intelligent beings and our minds call for logic and consistency. It is natural that we prefer life to be enjoyable rather than unpleasant. It is understandable that we favour methods that produce tangible results rather than speculative theories. When it comes to attaining better health, check the facts and obtain proof. Then
Then make up your mind and move.

For more information about rational living and personal development, I refer you to my book The 10 Principles of Rational Living


[Image by not a hipster under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under]