Balance, The Heart of a Healthy Lifestyle

The basis of healthy eating and healthy living lies in the idea of balance. Balance in how our plates are arranged, the types of food and nutrients we eat, as well as balance in our work, family, and leisure time. Unfortunately many of us struggle to achieve it.

Balance is key in not only what we eat and how our plates are arranged, but also in our approach to food, and in how we live. Many of us are either gung-ho and all in or not and tend to go back and forth between these two extremes like a yo-yo. This yo-yoing between extremes sets us up for failure, often leading to feelings of disappointment and frustration and perpetuating the “diet” mentality.

The turn of the year and New Years Resolutions is a perfect example of a time where we are instigated to jump on the bandwagon with this all-or-nothing way of thinking. We set impossible to achieve goals for ourselves that we are destined to fail at and then wonder what went wrong. Instead of taking a balanced gradual approach to taking better care of ourselves through better food choices and moving more we go for the extreme, but unsustainable, route that is rarely ever successful long term.

This idea of balance can be applied to physical activity too. Many people apply this all-or-nothing thinking when it comes to movement. Thoughts like “If I can’t hit the gym for at least an hour then it’s not worth it” or “Taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking further out at the grocery store doesn’t really count” are self-sabotaging. All movement matters and is helpful however you can work it in to fit your lifestyle.  Taking into consideration what you enjoy activity wise is important.  There are countless ways to move your body.  It is up to you to find what works for you.

Think about your own lifestyle in regards to food choices and physical activity. Do you take a balanced approach, maybe not always, but most of the time or are you stuck in a cycle of all-or-nothing thinking? What are just a few ways you could adopt a more balanced view on reaching your goals? Diets and all-or-nothing way of thinking are not sustainable or effective.  Changing your perspective on your approach from less all-or-nothing to a more balanced way of thinking in whatever area of your life that needs attention can be life changing.