The health decisions we make can be life changing.

Regrettably, when it comes to your health, the chances are that many of the decisions you will be forced to make end up being life changing. More often than not, the main reason is that it’s too late to do anything else. This ought not to be the case, however, as the little choices we make every day can help put off and even nullify these issues before they even appear. The good news is that the health and wellness industries have become vital partners with consumers regarding education and guidance. Unfortunately, there is still a significant number of people who remain skeptical about the health and wellness industries’ motives and research, effectively preventing their switch to more positive lifestyles.

These people can be difficult to convince. A lot of the time they tend to look at their health through the lens of the old adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Others see improving their lifestyles as a matter of difficulty, believing that one must take on stringent, unforgiving regimens in order to live healthier.

If time is an issue at work, then preparing meals and snacks ahead of time is helpful. Meal prepping is excellent because it removes the time factor from the morning routine, saves money and cuts stress, as the prepping can be done the night before, money is no longer wasted at vending machines or fast food restaurants, and lunch has already been decided on, so there’s no more last-minute panic.

If meal prepping doesn’t sound appealing, there are other options, such as the growing meal delivery industry and meal replacement shakes or powders. Both of these alternatives tend to have organic and even gluten-free options. Additionally, there is an increase in restaurants working with nutritional support companies to decide what to offer consumers. And each and every day, companies are reducing the number of harmful products used in food production, which is making grab-and-go foods healthier.

Now if the word diet is what’s sending shivers down your spine, fret not. When most people hear the word diet, they’re flashed with vivid memories and delusions of sugar-free, fat-free, carb-free and fun-free foods, but that doesn’t have to be the case. While some institutions may preach that, it is generally recommended to smart small.

The idea is to make small lifestyle changes in order to train your body towards greater success and when I say little things, I really do mean it: things like taking the cheese off a burger or switching to a wheat bun, replacing dressings with their lower-carbohydrate and sodium versions, and buying juices with less sugar per serving. You have to try to reign in your cravings.
Foods that are high in simple carbohydrate content greatly increase the amount of sugar in the blood at one time. White bread, white rice and other foods high in sugars cause a cascade of issues that lead to cravings, inflammation, weight gain and other negative health issues. Popular medications used for weight loss actually suppress the brain’s ability to recognize hunger and prevent cravings from occurring. Magic weight loss solutions don’t exist, and we need to stop treating the symptoms and dig out the root of the issue with a healthier approach.
Whether you’ve decided to turn a new leaf or have agreed to take only a few small steps to live a healthier and longer life, remember, you’re not just doing it for yourself—you ’re doing it for all those who love you too.

By Dr. Scott Kjelson Pharm D. CPh and Robert S. Litman R.Ph., C.Ph., CGP