UNITED STATES—When you have a bad habit, it is very hard to break that habit. This is especially true when it comes to food. We live in a world where so many of us love to indulge in everything quick, fast and in a hurry. I’m not referring solely to fast-food, but also processed food. We like to consume things that we can eat right away without too much of a delay. With that said, those foods are not always great for you.

For example, a meal at McDonalds can range anywhere from 1000 to 2000 calories, that is just for a single meal (a burger, a fry and a drink). That is more than ½ of the calories that you’re supposed to consume in a given day people. Remember that is ONLY 1 meal, so just guess how many calories you would consume if you were eating McDonald’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Not good people, not good at all.

For me, the biggest challenge was giving up pop. It was something I would consume whenever I needed a pick me up or something to give me a jolt of energy when I’m feeling a bit sluggish or tired. Almost 6 months later, I haven’t had a single drop. The first week was perhaps the most difficult, but after getting past that first week it became easier. I have now reached a point, where I don’t even think about it, I’m not even tempted to want it, which if you were to ask me that a year ago, I would say no way.

The same sentiment could be said about red meat. I really don’t consume it much at all, but if I do it might be once a month if that. I don’t miss it either, the same with candy, a sweets in general. In the past I would indulge in at least a slice of cake once a month, as of recent I cannot tell you the last time I had such a sweet. It is almost like out of sight out of mind. This is not saying I have not indulged in a sweet, like a donut or croissant for breakfast every once in a while, it simply means I have adjusted my craving with other options, plain yogurt, fresh fruit or an alternative that will still allow me to have a taste of sugar, but NOT an excessively amount of sugar.

Sugar is not good for the body; we all know that, the same with excessive fats and carbohydrates. I have been trying feverishly to cut out carbs from my daily eating routine, but dammit it is so hard because carbs are like in every damn thing you eat. I mean everything. The one food group where you see minimal to no carbs it is certain cuts of protein like red meat, chicken, turkey and seafood to name a few. When you look at other food groups, the carbs are there especially things like bread, rice and flours. Those are the things we crave the most, the things we should stay away from or limit our consumption of.

Look, I’m not journaling what I eat or being excessive about eating this or not eating that, I’m simply more aware of what is placed in my body. Do I read the labels a bit more now than I did in the past? Yes, because it is important to be self-aware of what you consume. Are you eating 60 to 70 grams of sugar in a single pastry? How about 50 to 60 carbs in a large piece of bread? You do need to be somewhat educated on what goes in your body.

As I age, I’m learning more and more you only have one body, you have to treat it like you want it to last forever, even though we all know that will not be the case. That saying, “You are what you eat” really holds true America, and there are simple, easy things you can do to make changes to better your overall health.

Written By Jason Jones