Written by: Blanka Junová
The ability to adapt to new circumstances is the essence of a successful life. We must constantly develop ourselves, discard old dogmas, and discover new solutions. A change in eating habits may be part of this development.
REASONS MAY VARY: some may be forced by health concerns, for others the desire to lose weight might be a strong motive, while many just want to improve their lifestyle and, in so doing, prevent problems in the future. While deciding to make a change, we are prime targets for the advertising slogans, so we plunge headlong into unknown waters – and the result is often disappointment, a sharp decline in motivation and a return to our original habits. In order to avoid this scenario, it is important to know what accompanies the process of changing a diet.
How long does it take?
No time limit is set exactly – it depends on your abilities, needs and nature. A sudden change could be necessary in the case of a serious illness. It brings more radical results, but increases the risk of the so-called “pendulum effect”: a sudden improvement can be followed by a reaction in the form of a powerful appetite for “prohibited” foods. Gradual change takes longer (on average about a year) and the results are gradual (less noticeable), but this kind of change is much less demanding on our body and mind.
Most of us subconsciously defend ourselves against a change in the taste, appearance or smell of food – this is an instinctive defense against the potential danger of poisoning. We evaluate each new meal according to the degree to which it resembles the food we are used to. Maybe this is why the opinion is deeply rooted in us that healthy food cannot taste good. For this reason, it is easier to introduce new foods gradually, or by selecting foods similar in taste and appearance to what we routinely eat. With a gradual change, we will sooner or later begin to discover new tastes and create new preferences without having to forcibly give up the old ones. Then even a healthy meal can be a gourmet delicacy.
Different food, different preparation
Just as a change in diet is connected with new food, one must also learn new ways of preparation, combination and dining. Sometimes the result is not the best, or the cooked meal doesn’t correspond to what you had in mind. Try preparing meals that are tried and true, and every so often give something new a try. Cooking with someone who already has some experience with a “diet changeover”, or taking special cooking lessons may make the transition more pleasant.
The body’s reaction
A change in diet can be accompanied by unpleasant feelings that follow from the digestive system’s adaptation process. These symptoms are similar to fasting and can resemble those of certain illnesses. For many people such a reaction is very demotivating – they eat healthier, but feel worse than before. However, the main thing to remember is that the result of this process is extremely positive. n