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Losing Weight and Slowing Aging: The Challenging Journey of Changing Dietary Habits

Updated: Jul 29, 2023

You are not alone! I believe almost everyone faces difficulties when it comes to changing eating habits, and I understand. Let's talk about this transformation journey and how to lose weight in a healthy way, adopting foods that will nourish your body and preserve your youthfulness.

The importance of taking care of one's diet 'versus' the difficulty of changing eating habits.

woman and vegetables

Caring for nutrition is essential to maintain a healthy life at any age, but I believe it is more impactful when we find ourselves in the "Vintage Adolescent" phase. During this period, we want more; we want to maintain youthfulness, beauty, and freshness. Thus, changing the way we eat can be a real challenge. Although we know that a balanced diet is essential for our health, we often face difficulties in making significant changes to our eating habits. This resistance is rooted in human aspects that we need to understand to overcome it.

Resistance to changing habits

One reason for this resistance is the attachment to what is familiar and comfortable. The foods we are used to eating are linked to emotional memories and special moments, making it difficult to let them go. Moreover, the feeling of restriction when giving up certain foods also generates resistance. The sensation of losing something we enjoy can be an obstacle to adopting a new diet.

Social and cultural influence also plays an important role. Social events, family gatherings, and gastronomic traditions may pressure us to maintain dietary patterns that are not the healthiest. The fear of being excluded or feeling different can hinder the adoption of new habits.

The dependence on processed foods is another barrier. The food industry offers us a variety of highly processed options, rich in sugar, fats, and additives. These foods are designed to be tasty and addictive, creating a difficult-to-break dependence. Transitioning to a healthier diet may require extra effort to overcome this dependence. After all, who can resist ice cream?

In addition, all human beings tend to resist change in general. We find comfort in our established routines, and any alteration can be seen as a threat. Overcoming this resistance demands motivation, determination, and an open mind to explore new possibilities.

When we don't eat properly, our body doesn't receive the necessary nutrients to maintain balance. Therefore, it is essential to choose more suitable foods and seek balance in our nutrition. It's important to consciously choose our foods. Fruits and vegetables are excellent options, but we must also be careful with the quantities, as excess fructose can negatively affect the body, especially regarding weight control. Additionally, we must be cautious about consuming foods that can lead to high cholesterol, as this can result in cardiovascular problems. Thus, it is crucial to eat consciously, monitoring the foods and quantities ingested daily.

Remember to seek balance in all food groups. Ensure that you consume adequate amounts, obtaining the necessary nutrients for good health. If you have doubts about how to do this, don't hesitate to contact a nutrition specialist to ensure the success of your meal plan.

Willpower is essential, but how can we maintain willpower in a pattern that is not familiar to us?

The difficulty in maintaining "willpower" lies in our brain's survival mechanism. The pursuit of positive emotions in food is a fundamental part of understanding this experience. Thus, to achieve good eating habits, it is necessary to understand how the brain works. When we start a diet, we are enthusiastic about projecting the results, but eating less, exercising, and losing weight cause changes in hormonal profiles. The body reduces the production of appetite-reducing hormones and elevates those that increase hunger. Therefore, it is not enough to simply start miracle diets; instead, we need to create a mechanism of dietary reeducation to make weight loss sustainable. For this, it requires fibers and lean proteins, and foods with a low glycemic index, avoiding insulin fluctuations. This helps control hunger at inappropriate times and can also reduce excessive cravings for sweets.

Two factors of fundamental importance are sleep and hydration to keep the body in harmony. In summary, losing weight is not just about shedding pounds, but redirecting our lifestyle in pursuit of physical and mental health.

However, who among us hasn't eagerly signed up for a gym and then, after a short time, said, "I won't go today; I'll make up for it tomorrow," and this tomorrow ends up canceling it altogether? Anything that changes our routine and increases effort is seen by the brain as a kind of 'threat,' causing us to give up our habits change goals. Therefore, we must persist, fighting against our own biological mechanisms to change a habit. But if we persist, find ways to persuade ourselves, our brain begins to understand that this habit change is beneficial and effective. However, it takes an average of 60 to 90 days for a new habit to be established...

It can be disheartening, isn't it?

But the important thing is not to give up, set goals, and keep going, as all of this is crucial to maintaining our health and the vitality of a "Vintage Adolescent."

Below is a list of foods considered important to maintain our energy:

Berries and citrus fruits: Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, oranges, and lemons are rich in antioxidants, such as vitamin C, which help combat damage caused by free radicals, promoting cellular health and slowing down aging.

Omega-3-rich fish: Salmon, sardines, and tuna are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, known for their anti-inflammatory and brain-protective effects. These fatty acids also contribute to skin elasticity, reducing the appearance of wrinkles, and promoting a youthful appearance.

Leafy green vegetables: Spinach, kale, arugula, and other greens are rich in antioxidants, fiber, and essential vitamins, such as vitamin A and folic acid. These nutrients help maintain cardiovascular health, bone health, and contribute to healthy skin.

Nuts and seeds: Almonds, chestnuts, walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds are sources of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. They aid in brain protection, strengthen the immune system, and help keep the skin hydrated and nourished.

Note: It is important to emphasize that this text is a reflection based on information available in various articles about nutrition and diet. Although it has been carefully elaborated, it is essential to understand that each person has individual needs and conditions. To obtain personalized and detailed guidance on healthy eating, it is recommended to consult a nutrition specialist. These experts can provide appropriate guidance tailored to your specific needs, taking into account your medical history, lifestyle, and health goals.

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