If you change the way you eat (and your relationship to food), you will totally transform your life.
Here are 10 tips that you can use everyday that will change the way you eat. Did I mention they totally work?
1. Don't give anything up.
Eat the foods you love. Just don't eat as much of them. The worst thing you can do is limit yourself too much and then go on a food bender when you are not feeling satisfied.
2. Always have a plan.
Everything looks good when you're hungry. Don't let this be your downfall when picking from a restaurant menu. If you know you are going to a steak house for dinner, than take it easy on the meat and starches in the rest of your day. Balance is the key. Make sure the rest of your meals that day are loaded with whole grains, seeds, and fresh produce.
3. Forget calorie counting.
Instead of looking a calories, ask yourself where the food came from and whether or not it is nutritious. Frank Lipman, MD, integrative and functional medicine physician says, "Healthy, nutrient-rich foods will keep hunger at bay, help maintain stable blood sugar levels, minimize cravings, and help your brain signal your belly when you're full."
4. Don't eat boring food.
You are constantly told to eat more vegetables so do it in a way that makes them delicious. Use your spice cupboard to create some really great flavours. Don't be afraid of garlic and olive oil. Roast the veggies, saute them. Grill them. Lots of fun things came of this. Give it a shot!
5. Prep and store.
Wash and chop your veggies as soon as you get home from the store or the market and put them in a glass container where you can see them. It is a matter of convenience. If they are prepared for you to eat, you will eat them. If not, you will find something easier and in all likelihood, that easier option will be a less than stellar diet choice. Potato chips are my downfall, for example.
6. Eat lunch like a king.
People think breakfast should be your biggest meal of the day but sometimes you just aren't that hungry in the morning. "Your biggest meal should be around noon when your digestion is at its peak and you can feed your body when it actually needs fuel," says Dr. Lipman. This also means you won't need to eat a big dinner.
7. Drop the food guilt.
If you think about food only in terms of what it means for that number on the scale, it can take a lot of pleasure out of eating. If you are eating something and enjoying it, don't judge yourself for it. If you are active and making the right food choices most of the time, it is all good. Guilt can lead to overeating which will undermine all your efforts.
8. Eat the rainbow.
Eating foods of all colours provides your body with a range of disease fighting phytonutrients and they will keep you full and help your win out over unhealthy food cravings. Eating more produce and attempting to cover all the colours will help you get the proper number of servings as well. Besides, it's fun!
9. Know where your snacks are.
Stock your fridge or desk or office lunch room with healthy snacks. Like nuts, fruit and greek yogurt. Having them on hand will prevent you from grabbing a bag of candy or something equally unhealthy when you feel that mid afternoon hunger creep in.
10. Follow the 80/20 rule.
This principle is great as it allows you to be healthy without losing the enjoyment of eating. Make smart healthy food choices 80% of the time and 20% of the time you can be a little naughty. Eating is not about perfection. How this 80/20 divide looks is up to you, it could be a little something everyday or you could save it for a night out on the weekend. Do what is best for you. There is another way you can do it according to Dr. Lipman and that is to stop eating when you are 80% full. It means eating slowly and checking in with yourself. Listen to what your body is trying to tell you. Are you getting that "I don't really need this" feeling? Being in tune with your body can help you be mindful and prevent you from overeating.
Are you practicing these tips? Share your experiences and ideas in a comment.
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