One of the unfortunate side effects of living in a dieting, weight-centric culture is that much of the value of eating well and being active gets wrapped up in the question, “Will this help me lose weight?” Our bodies are complex things, and there is never any guarantee that positive inputs (nutritious food, regular movement, adequate sleep, self-care) will lead to weight loss.
“Progress, not perfection.” Three important words that I invoke pretty much daily with my patients (sometimes I use the variation “perfection is the enemy of progress”). That’s one reason why I was delighted by the Washington Post article, “A weight-loss expert changes his tune: focus on enjoyment, not perfection.”
Does your social life revolve around happy hours, restaurant dinners, lunch dates, coffee-and-pastry meetups and Sunday brunches? This can interfere with your healthy eating goals—but it doesn’t have to.
If you work outside the home, a huge chunk of your day is spent in the workplace, which makes that your second most important food environment (after your home). It’s also an environment that can be unpredictable in what temptations it sends your way. If your job is stressful, and stress makes you want to eat, that’s one more factor you need to consider.
Why is it important to be master or mistress of your food environment? To begin with, most of us lead busy lives, with multiple demands on our time. If we get hungry, and healthy food isn’t easily accessible, but non-healthy food is, guess what we’re probably going to eat? That’s right, the non-healthy, easy-to-grab food.