If I eat well, I look good. If I don’t, well, my looks definitely suffer. It seems almost old-fashioned to talk about the connection between healthful eating and good looks, but that link is fundamental.
I don’t believe in fad diets like the grapefruit diet or powdered-drink diets, or whatever is this moment’s fad solution. The truth is that I do not believe in the concept of dieting at all. I think that dieting is based on denial, which you will ultimately resent and rebel against. You are destined to fail. Instead, if you partake in a good healthful diet for life, an eating plan based on a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables and fruits, and low-fat proteins you are destined for long-term success.
We should all be realistic in our expectations, not fanatical. When you are on the go with lots of commitments, you are not going to have time to cook low-fat, healthful meals. Make sure that when you grab something to eat from the refrigerator, you have healthful options like yogurt, fruit, or vegetables. When I am out and about, I make sure I have good, healthful snacks tucked away in my bag an apple, a Power Bar, or whole-grain crackers for the times when I am suddenly starving.
When you eat things that are not ideal (and we all do), make sure it’s worth it. It’s not about grabbing a candy bar every afternoon at 4 p.m. Rather, order a dessert one night when you are out for dinner and savor it! Then, the next day, instead of dwelling on it or letting it trigger a week of out-of-control eating, just get on with your normal, healthful routine. Don’t be too hard on yourself for an indulgence every now and then. It might sound cliched, but I view everyday as another opportunity to eat as healthfully as possible.
I am a big believer in whole natural foods. I read labels carefully and try to avoid food with lots of additives and chemicals. For that reason, I tend to buy most of my food in a health-food store. The cookies I buy for my kids contain no sugar, no dyes, and no preservatives. It costs a little more, but it’s worth it to me in the long run.
Drinking a lot of water also works for me, both by staving off my appetite (often when you thinkyou are hungry, you are really just thirsty!) and giving my skin a clearer, plumped-up appearance. Water also keeps me going when I exercise, by keeping me hydrated, which in turn gives me energy. I find that by squirting lemon in water I drink more and enjoy it a lot more.