Taking the first steps towards eating a healthier diet can be tough. Food is strongly linked to our perception of fun or celebrations; a donut for afternoon tea; a glass of wine to wind down after a tough day; or even those choccy biscuits after dinner.
We have all grown up thinking about tasty foods as being a 'reward'. This is because, when we eat these types of food, dopamine receptors (that make us feel good) fire off in our brains. This biochemical reaction triggers our brain to search for more of the thing that made it feel good. What we don’t realise is that these foods are actually toxic to our bodies, cause chronic inflammation and even flare-ups of autoimmune disease symptoms.
So this is the problem when it comes to making better food choices for our health, as it means that it changes the way that our brains are wired to perceive fun and associate “reward foods” with having a good time.
If you want to change your diet to improve your health, it's smart to take the time to be mentally prepared for such big changes, as we've often eaten this way since we were children. Therefore, breaking a lifetime of habits is really hard to do. As we work to eliminate the foods that make us feel unwell, we need to be kind to ourselves but realise that it's an important journey, with the end goal of achieving better health. It's ok to be unsure about this, or even to decide to give it a try at only 80% - what matters most is trying to make the changes and never giving up, because the health benefits are incredible!