With modern convenience foods, restaurant foods, pre-packaged foods, and highly processed supermarket foods, many of us are not eating as well as we know we should be. Moderation is always a good policy but with the amazingly delicious, luscious, and terribly unhealthy products lining the grocery store shelves and restaurants, moderation can be very difficult.
Many things that are not good for us are VERY tasty and mildly addictive. The really good news is that with many of these things, the more you cut back on them the less you need. Salt is a great example. Most people get at 2-3 times the amount of sodium they should without ever using a salt shaker. The more salt you consume, the more it takes to get that same great salty taste. The more you cut back, the less it takes! All you have to do is cut way back for a few weeks, then moderation is possible without any sacrifice to taste. Same with caffeine. Many of us consume far more than moderate amounts because our systems have become desensitized to caffeine so it requires higher and higher doses to have an effect. Cut back for a week or two and you get a fantastic buzz with a fraction of the caffeine.
Calling these things "addictive" is controversial but suffice it to say that they are not easy to stop. Stopping caffeine does result in withdrawal symptoms like headaches so it truly is addictive. Other things like sodium, fat and sugar dont have withdrawal symptoms but they are still *very* difficult to stop and I consider them addictive despite the lack of withdrawl sysmptons. Stopping these things is difficult and it helps to have a support network, thats what we have here! Many of us are in the same boat so every month we will help each other stop one thing that we know needs to be cut back to moderate levels. We dont want to be puritans but neither do we want to be gluttons - moderation.
Although I exercise daily, eat lots of vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and very little meat I still have some things that I am bad about. No matter how heathy you think you are, there is always room for improvement and I am no exception. The first four months I have chosen because they are things that I know that I personally need to cut down on to become more healthy. After that, I will open it up to suggestions from members about future challenges. Here are the first four health challenges:
- September 9, 2013 - The Caffeine Challenge
- February 2014 - Snackless February
- March 2014 - The Sodium Challenge
- July 2014 - The Alcohol Challenge
- September 2014 - Snackless September