Health Over Indulgence: Why It's Time to Choose Health First
Health Over Indulgence: It's Time to Choose Health
It's one thing to indulge occasionally. It's quite another to eat a nutrient poor diet every day. Together, let's choose health over indulgence. Find out how!
As we welcome this new year and all the opportunities we hope it brings, we reflect on what is good in our lives along with what could be better. We abandon the past and hope for only good fortune, peace, and love for ourselves and the ones around us.
We also often think about change. We ponder what has not served us in the past and what improves we would like to see in the future. A new year provides a new slate and the opportunity to start fresh. To grow. To change. To love better. To live better. To feel better.
Many of us spent the holidays wrapped in indulgence. We treated ourselves. We ate what we wanted. We celebrated. We abandoned all healthy eating habits, we indulged, and we enjoyed it.
Now that 2018 has rolled around, it’s time to start making healthier choices that are in our best interest. It’s time to choose health first.
Are you ready to finally feel confident by choosing healthy over indulgent?
It's easy to indulge in foods and activities that may not be the best for our optimum health. Occasional indulging can actually be healthy. It prevents us from binge eating and can satisfy those cravings for sweet or savoury items.
But making indulgence a regular part of the day can take its toll on your overall health. It can even impact your relationships.
Read on to learn why it's important to choose health over indulgence now, before you make that appointment with your nutritionist.
1. Indulgence Often Means Poor Nutrients
When we use language like "indulge in" or "treat ourselves to" something food-related, we're actually implying that what we're about to eat isn't necessarily healthy. You may indulge in a brownie or a trip to Dairy Queen, or treat yourself to some sweet potato fries.
Imagine your favourite indulgence… is it sweet? Delicious? Decadent? Chocolaty? Or perhaps salty and crunchy?
Regardless of what you consider indulgent, it is most likely a special treat. Indulging in something means satisfying a craving or desire for something potentially forbidden, "bad," or scarce for some reason.
Unfortunately, when you look at something like an ice cream sundae or a scoop of sweet potato fries, these indulgences don't always have amazing nutrients.
In fact, a mini salted caramel blondie blizzard from Dairy Queen delivers 49 grams of sugar and 16 grams of fat in one go.
A diet that centres around even occasional indulgences like these is one often too high in sugar and trans fats. What’s worse, is that it’s likely too low in important nutrients like iron, vitamins A and C, protein, and fibre.
A diet lacking in nutrition can lead to malnutrition, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
It's important to choose health over indulgence in order to prioritize your own longevity and reduce your risk for fatal diseases.
2. Indulgence Translates to a Guilty Conscience
The language we use when we talk about indulging in something automatically implies guilt. This is the case regardless of what you are indulging in, whether it's dessert, junk food, a pricey pair of boots, or drugs.
While indulging in something can give immediate feelings of pleasure and satisfaction--such as sliding into the pool of an expensive resort--these feelings don't necessarily last.
They can lead to a guilty conscience that only gets more severe over time. You may enjoy that tasty bit of brownie, but what about the guilt or shame that may arrive afterward?
Feelings of guilt or shame can lead to negative habits of all kinds. In the realm of food, negative associations with "bad" food can cause eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia. Binge eating can also result from guilty indulgence.
Choosing health over indulgence means choosing a mind free of guilt. It means making choices that serve you rather than harm you.
3. Health Gives You A Reality Check
The guilty conscience that comes from indulging in something results from your perspective of what is "bad" or "good." We usually indulge in something that isn't necessarily "good."
What we do when we indulge in something is actually re-emphasize that it is "bad," according to our self-made rules. It may not be bad by other people's standards, but it is by yours.
For example, indulging in an evening where you drink wine and read a book may be classified by many people as "good." But perhaps it resonates as "bad" for you because such an activity takes time away from work, your family, or your other obligations.
Choosing health over indulgence means stepping outside of the paradigm of "bad" and "good." It means choosing facts of health over perceptions of what is wrong.
For example, prioritizing health might mean eating five servings of vegetables a day. You might justify this not by saying that vegetables are "good" for you, but by saying that vegetables give you the fibre and vitamins you need to power through the day.
This reality check is an important reason to prioritize your health over indulgence.
4. Indulgence is Actually Habit
Another thing to keep in mind when thinking about indulgences versus health is the fact that an indulgence really is a habit. The more you think of something as an indulgence, the more you'll cultivate a habit of indulging in it.
If you're indulging in something that compromises your physical or mental health, it could lead to severe consequences. It is difficult to shake a habit of any kind. Addictions are simply intense habits that become deeply ingrained in the body and mind.
Choosing health over indulgence means choosing a new habit that can only generate positive consequences.
5. Good Health is Long-term, but Indulgence is Not
We indulge in something at the moment. No one talks about indulging in things that last for weeks or years.
Because indulging in something is temporary, it's like a band-aid. Maybe indulging in that piece of chocolate cake because you're feeling stressed at work helps in the moment, but the cake isn't meant to be a long-term solution.
If you start to think about indulging as an emotional solution to issues, then it may become dangerous.
The great news about good health is that it is long-term. Healthy choices impact the years ahead of you as well as the lives of those you love.
Think of health as an investment in a piece of property, a new home, or your child’s college education. Better yet, think of health as an investment in yourself!
Compared to a quick trip to the grocery store for a fleeting indulgence, which one do you think will have a greater ROI?
6. Health Makes You Feel Good
At the end of the day, making healthy choices that don't generate feelings of guilt, obligation, or shame will make you feel good.
You will see physical and emotional benefits of starting a new workout plan, for example. Limiting the amount of processed sugars you consume in a week can benefit you mentally and energetically.
Health can also be incredibly tasty. Did you ever think chocolate vegan bliss balls could taste better than something from DQ?
Most importantly, healthy choices can create feelings of pride, calm, and control. This means everything.
Prioritizing Health Over Indulgence
Your health is one of the most priceless things you possess.
If you start choosing indulgence on a regular basis, it can become chronic. An occasional soda, though not the best beverage choice, is one thing. But “needing” a soda every day just to help you get through the day, has become a chronic indulgence and carries with it chronic problems.
Giving in to indulgences regularly (or even daily) also means we have stepped away from the potential that good health can bring, including energy, emotional well-being, and satisfaction.
It's important to choose health over indulgence because indulgence can translate to poor nutrients, a guilty conscience, and life-threatening diseases. While health is a long-term solution, indulgence is not. Choosing health means prioritizing your future and the lives of those around you.
Choosing health means investing in your most precious possession.
Choosing better health for a better you can start today.
If you would like to learn more about how to make the best choices for your own health, and how to start choosing health first, you came to right place.
At HappiHuman.com, one small change really can make a difference. Browse our blogs on well-being and health so that you can start living the life you've always wanted to live.
If you have indulged to excess over the holidays and are ready to start choosing health today, our meal planning services are now available!
With many options and easy, practical recipes for you and your whole family, we can help you get on the right path to choosing health.
Stay tuned for more exciting new opportunities coming to HappiHuman.com in 2018 - so you, too can start choosing health first.
Have a great story about how you've chosen health? Share your comments below!