Crowding Out and Slow Change

Kara Bauer Health Guide
  • Often times when people decide to embark on a new diet and healthier lifestyle, they immediately want to change everything at once. “Beginning tomorrow I will eat more whole foods, eliminate processed foods, join a gym and begin exercising 5 days a week.” Although the initial excitement can be great for motivation, it can also be difficult to maintain if too much is taken on at once.

    The idea of “crowding out” takes place over time and is focused on what to add to your diet as opposed to what to eliminate or take out.  It’s also a more positive approach that keeps your focus on what’s “good” as opposed to what’s “bad”.

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    For example, if you decide you want to eat more leafy greens, put your attention on adding something green to at least one meal per day whether it be a salad, steamed kale, bok choy or any other choice. Don’t worry too much about the rest of the food on your plate or the thought that by adding greens, you’ll be making a commitment that won’t allow you to ever eat your favorite foods again.

    What you’ll eventually begin to notice is that the nutrient rich foods will begin to “crowd out” the less healthy choices.  As your body begins to get more of what it needs to function optimally, you won’t feel as hungry. You’ll also notice that as you begin to feel lighter, more energetic and an overall sense of good health, you won’t frequently crave the foods that don’t support you in feeling your best.

    In my opinion, crowding out is a great alternative to the “diet” approach and provides you with the opportunity to observe and notice the effects of high nutrient foods as opposed to only reading or hearing about them. It also makes dietary changes easy and non-restrictive, and consequently eliminates the “all or nothing” mentality. Even though it may take a bit longer to reach your goals then it would if you were to transform the way you eat overnight, I believe that the value of what you’ll learn along the way will help you produce the long lasting results you’re looking for.

Published On: November 10, 2009