Self-care can help us lead healthier and happier lives, giving us a positive sense of purpose. In a study published in BMC Public Health on self-care in adults, the findings indicated adequate self-care maintenance and self-care monitoring behaviors among adults. However, the scores were lower for self-care management, such as reaching out to healthcare providers or taking medicine to decrease or eliminate symptoms. This indicates that while adults are capable of self-care, they aren’t necessarily as diligent in maintaining their health.
In a previous post titled “What is Self-Care and Why is It Critical?”, we discussed the different types of self-care and how a self-care lifestyle can promote our physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Self-care can foster resilience and bring balance to our life. The best thing about pursuing self-care is that there are no secret requirements, and you can start as soon as today. In this post, we’ll look at how you can practice self-care in eating habits:
Eat What You Love
Most people center their diets on restrictions, such as only eating salads and leafy greens. However, this approach may prove less effective because it may make you miserable or even trigger binge eating later. WeightWatchers’ diet programs — led by their team of nutrition and behavioral scientists, registered dieticians, and clinical researchers — emphasize that fad weight-loss diets built on restrictions rarely work long-term. Ultimately, there aren’t any “good” or “bad” foods, just nutritious and less nutritious ones, so it’s much better to build your diet around nutritional powerhouses and practice healthy habits. This renewed approach to dieting lets you eat what you love — in moderation — which will improve your mood as well as your health in the process. Remember that self-care is all about balance, so balancing eating what you love with eating what is good for you is possible and doable.
Create a Healthy Eating Environment
Just as you would make changes to your environment to allow for more intensive self-care, you can also do the same to accommodate healthier eating habits. A study on food environment and diet in Nature Communications found a significant association between one’s food environment as well as eating habits. Factors such as access to grocery stores and fast food restaurants, for example, impact one’s sense of control, empowerment, and food security. We can scale this down to your eating environment at home. By making healthy foods accessible to you in your house and taking measures to hide less healthy snacks from view, you won’t be tempted to eat them out of habit or instinct.
Make Time for Physical Exercise
Lastly, going back to the importance of balance in self-care, you must supplement your healthier eating habits with some physical exercise. This helps keep your body fit and healthy, making you feel better and happier about your lifestyle instead of feeling restricted or dulled by a strict diet. This doesn’t mean you need heavy daily exercises or buy a premium gym subscription. Light physical activities such as brisk walking and jogging benefit your health and eating habits. A Hindustan Times feature highlights health benefits of these workouts, such as improved cardiovascular health, stronger immunity, better muscle strength, and increased endurance. Brisk walking and jogging can also help burn sufficient calories, so you don’t need to focus solely on restricting your diet to be healthy or lose weight.
Ultimately, healthy eating habits don’t have to be uncomfortable or restrictive. Remember that your pursuit of better health shouldn’t take a toll on your mental health, which is just as important. Beyondpsychub posts mental health articles and features for self-care so that you can cultivate a healthier lifestyle for yourself.