Instead of giving out advice, I’d just like to share what worked for me. So take it with a grain of salt. Just one grain, though! You’ve got to watch your sodium (:
NOTE: I don’t just focus on calories.
Food offers more than just calories. There are nutrients like vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and more. When you eat more real food, you’ll realize that food = fuel, remedy, and protection. Click here for nutrition info.
WHEN EATING AT HOME…
“Hara Hachi Bu” means 80% full. After reading a book called Intuitive Eating, I now follow a more natural/normal eating habit. When I’m hungry; I eat. When I’m full; I stop. When I’m hungry; I eat again. It doesn’t matter how soon or late it’s been since my last meal. It works for me.
I am for whole food.
Just because companies would like their foods to stay on shelves forever, doesn’t mean I’d like those chemicals in my body. The less ingredients = the better. I need to be able to understand the ingredients on the back.
I eat from small dishes.
A couple of months ago, I switched standard plates for saucers. Now, whenever I see a plate, I’m amazed at how huge it is! By eating from smaller dishes, I’ve learned to be fuller on less. Not that less is better (ie. starving), but it has allowed me to feel content with a portion I ought to have been eating.
I drink lots of teas.
At any given moment, you’ll find me sipping on some tea. Whether it’s chai, green, lemon, black, peppermint…I don’t discriminate and I take them straight! No sugar. (Maybe creamer, if I feel like it would absolutely enhance it). It makes me feel calm, warm, and full. I DO NOT use it as a meal replacement, though. Tea doesn’t offer very much, so here are the times when I usually drink it.
1) Mid-morning, an hour or so after breakfast.
2) Mid-afternoon, a couple of hours after lunch.
3) Late night- this is the time where I feel like eating something, but I’m not truly hungry. It’s more for my tongue then my tummy. I’ll either drink it plain, dip ¼- ½ bagel in it, or eat a small portion of something sweet (like a bit from a Luna bar or a small gluten free cookie).
I try to not to drink any very close to meals because I don’t want it to mess with my iron.
I aim to eat fruits and vegetables with every meal. I feel like my meal isn’t truly complete without one.
WHEN EATING OUT…
I automatically ask the waiter for a take-out box.
Chances are, your meal will be two or more servings = calories you don’t need more than you can comfortably eat. Once I get the takeout box, I separate it, and put it aside.
I aim to only eat the best of the best
After years of eating frozen pizzas, I now realize that they were just as much “pizza” as are pizza flavored Pringles. One trip to New York and eating real pizza, and I have never looked at pizza the same way. If I want pizza, I want the real thing, not some frozen, chemical-ridden, “pizza flavored” junk. I’ll either make it from scratch, or go to a pizzeria that specializes in authentic pizza. If I want cake, I’m going to go to an actual bakery. I won’t settle for some high fructose corn syruped square in plastic. I deserve better than a twinkie.
1 slice is better than 5
Just last month, I was invited to a banquet. (Mind you, this was before my quest to be an “intuitive eater” …and I absolutely love cake.) It was around noon and I wasn’t really hungry. I filled my plate with green beans, grilled chicken, and mashed potatoes- calculating the calories in my head- to stop me from eating any cake. But there were just so many! I had to try all three! I ended up nibbling on the cooked food and going right to the huge slices of cake I’d accumulated. They were delicious. So I went back for seconds… And thirds. Long story short, I wound up getting very sick, to very good slices of cake. Had I just gotten small slices of each, I would still be able to say that they were amazing, without having to recall the gruesome aftermath that resulted from them.
Even though I said I wouldn’t…
Place quality over quantity
It’s just that simple.
-Make it a habit
Diets are detrimental because they are only “quick fixes”, which usually winds up damaging your mental health, metabolism, and body in general. An overall improvement to your eating habits and lifestyle will wind up being more beneficial in the end.
-Drink more water
Now! Haha. But really, if you really want to see changes, drink several cups throughout the day. It helps push out toxins, improves normal body function, and helps you lose water weight. Yes, more water = less water weight. Just like dietary fat, when you don’t get enough of something, your body retains it. When you drink water regularly, you ensure your body that there’s no need to retain it. Water makes up an enormous percent of your body. So keep your tank full! Did you know that we’re the only known species to regularly drink liquids other than water. (Polar bears do not drink Coca Cola..)
-Find different outlets.
Explore new outlets to relieve stress, distract, and crawl out of holes of boredom that doesn’t involve eating. When we eat for comfort or “just because”, we are giving ourselves temporarily relief. When the sensation wears off, you’re back to your original state of boredom/anger/sadness/whatever. Finding creative outlets like writing, reading, doing puzzles, or hey-exercising- will be more beneficial even after the sensation wears off.