A healthy lifestyle is something that many of us strive to achieve on a regular basis. Year after year, New Years resolutions are made to go to the gym, eat healthier and cleaner, to lose weight, quit smoking, cut processed food, or to somehow change our body’s current competition and situation making life better and healthier. Many of us want to do it, but a lot of us haven’t quite figured out how. In an effort to help inspire some change, I want to tell you about 10 (not-so) crazy things that happened to my body when I’m focused on eating healthy.
Now, does this mean I am 100% on plan all the time? Of course not. Just the other day I enjoyed 2 delicious slices of Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza, a Chicago classic, and while it’s not healthy, it was delicious and I enjoyed every bite. A healthy lifestyle means you’ve found a balance between eating healthy most of the time and figuring out how to work your indulgences into your plan in moderation.
That being said, when I’m eating well most of the time, my body tells me, and there are some crazy things that happen when I’m on track.
- I have more energy. It’s amazing how the body responds and gives back if you’re giving it the fuel it needs. When I’m focused on a balanced diet that has protein and plenty of nutrient dense produce, I have days that I feel like Wonder Woman. On the other hand, the times that I’m filling my body with more sugar and processed junk, my energy levels are terrible, I feel foggy and groggy, and my motivation to get anything done completely tanks. Which situation would you rather be in? If the body responds to the type of fuel you’re feeding it so easily, it’s hard to accept feeding the body junk all the time, as you know it will make you feel like crap. Think about it.
- My tummy is flatter. It’s possible to deal with bloating at any weight. You can be at goal and still have a day that your tummy pops out with a food baby that ends up being bloat. While I know different people have different triggers for what might give them a little extra bloat around the middle, my body tells me that a healthy, balanced diet is the way to go. I look a lot leaner after a few solid days of good foods that help my digestive system work as it should. When I eat too much sugar (or sugar substitutes!), my tummy lets me know and it’s not a great feeling. The days I wake up (because we’re all flattest in the morning) and see a lean looking tummy in the mirror, I know I’m fueling myself right.
- I’m not as hungry and I eat less. When I’m eating a proper, balanced diet, I notice that I consume smaller amounts of food and less frequently because my body feels satisfied with what it’s getting. The days that I’m choosing processed carbs and sugars are the days that my food burns off quickly (sugars are a quick burst and burn for energy) and I feel like I’m constantly hungry and never satisfied, meaning I’m constantly wandering into the kitchen to find something to curb my hunger. When I’m eating lean proteins with fruits and veggies (and a little bit of carb, because carbs are not the enemy here), I find that I stay fuller longer, making it easier to stay on track.
- I’m more likely to workout. Let’s be honest, when you’re feeling sluggish and blah it’s really hard to convince yourself to go to the gym. My philosophy about how progress creates motivation to create progress applies directly to this. When I am fueling myself properly and feeling amazing because of the awesome foods I’m putting in my body, it’s a lot easier for me to get to the gym and use that energy to workout so I continue to see progress in my body.
- My skin looks good. I don’t know what this is about, but when I’m eating well and staying hydrated my skin looks great. Since I suffer from adult acne, it’s really noticeable when my skin is getting out of whack, and while I use topical things to help control this, it’s also quite clear that treating my skin from the inside out is a very useful thing. I have recently started adding the ever so popular collagen peptides to my morning coffee, which gives the skin an extra boost, but ultimately I notice that when I’m eating well, and staying hydrated
- I lose weight. This is typically a given, but hear me out. I don’t mean that I eat healthy to lose weight (we know I do, but that’s not the point). I’m saying that when I eat healthily, if I’m focused on nothing other than the kinds of foods that go into my body, I lose weight automatically! Without actually trying. The body knows what it is supposed to do and what weight it’s supposed to be. We just need to make sure we are feeding it in a way where the body can do its job.
- My clothes fit better. Again, a given, but the math here is simple. A healthy diet = more energy, more workouts, losing weight, and a flatter tummy = clothes that aren’t too tight and might even be getting looser.
- I don’t crave sugar. This was one of the best side effects of a healthy diet is how much less I crave junk food. I have a pretty wicked sweet tooth and it’s something I struggle with often. However, when I am being consistent with my balanced, healthy diet, I notice that my desire to reach for something sweet decreases dramatically. It is a lot easier to stay on track when the things that knock you off track don’t even interest you.
- I have a better attitude towards life. It’s a lot easier for the mind and emotions to feel good if your body feels good too. I find that when I’m filled with energy I also tend to be filled with joy. I don’t stress as easily, I’m calmer and emotionally balanced, and I can tackle the day with a positive attitude.
- I am more productive. This is another amazing side effect that I didn’t see coming, but it makes perfect sense. More energy + not thinking about food all the time + good mood= more productive day.
There are so many reasons that a healthy diet is a good idea, but these 10 are reasons I experience first hand. What does your body feel like when you’re eating well? Do you notice a difference between days you do and don’t fuel your body with clean energy? Let me know!