Most of us can and should clean up our eating. I know it’s hard. Junk food is everywhere. It’s addictive. It clogs up the supermarket aisles and does the same to our bodies. Many of us are overfed with the stuff and consequently, undernourished. I firmly believe that cravings are a result of nutritional deficiencies…and when we fulfill out nutritional needs by eating nourishing foods and moving more, the cravings will become less potent and eventually disappear.
Foodwise. We need to break the cycle. We need to be foodwise.
One way way to deal with cravings is to replace the cravings with healthier alternatives. Displace things we don’t want by focusing our energy and attention on the things we do.
For example, you can replace the chip cravings with something much milder in salt and fat content. Try to think what it is you’re craving and find a healthier alternative…
We want to add in the good things so the bad things will eventually fall away. There’ll be less room physically in your body and kitchen and less room in your head for cravings when you’re focused on the good stuff.
The more you do it the easier it gets because you’ll have more energy and better health to help you make better choices and get you through those tough moments.
The essence of foodwise is when it stops being willpower. It’s no longer battle; it’s simply becomes a conscious choice.
What else can we do?
Great grandmother food. I know you’ve heard it before… Stay away from butter because of the saturated fat. Eggs are full of cholesterol and bad for the heart. Don’t eat wheat because of carbs and gluten. Sugar is addictive and leads to diabetes, so use artificial sweeteners instead. No, no, no and no. If you eat foods that your great-grandmother ate, your waistline will love you again. Would grandmother recognise margarine, saccharin, high fructose corn syrup, pastries full of trans fats, sweetened yoghurts, low-carb breads, sodium nitrates (used in the curing of processed meats)?
Processed Foods. They fill us up but don’t sustain. They have no link to the land and no link to healthy living. They’re only link is to obesity and lifestyle diseases. They don’t belong in our body. Try to leave them on the shelves where they belong.
Emotional Eating Isn’t Bad. Emotional Overeating Is. There is nothing wrong with letting your emotions dictate your food choices. On a cold fall day, I want hot soup and a crusty roll. On a hot summer day, I want a refreshing salad and fruit. After a crappy day at work, I may want comfort food like chocolate (go for the dark stuff that is high in cocoa) and cuppa. I don’t think that’s a problem. The problem comes when the crappy day at work results in demolishing a packet of chocolate biscuits.
Don’t Cut Out Carbs. Despite what all the popular diet books say, eliminating carbs is not a good weight loss strategy. Doing so, takes away our primary fuel source. And that is physically and mentally stressful. Lack of carbs can lead to cravings, irritability and fatigue and that can mean depression, binging and giving up altogether.
Pair proteins with carbs. Pairing protein with CHD food slows down the absorption of sugar from your stomach to your blood and stops your blood sugar from skyrocketing and helps to control future cravings
What do we need to eat?
- Right fats: quality nuts, avocado, fish, cold pressed olive oil
- Modest salt and modest sugars
- Vegetables and fresh fruit
- Lean proteins
Be Mindful. Mindful eating is eating with intention and attention. Before you eat something, ask yourself: “Am I really hungry?” Yes or no?” If the answer is yes, “Will this nourish me?”
In our haste to get things done, eating is often mindless. Food is hard to enjoy when scoffed down in front of tv or computer or wolfed down on the run. You will eat less when you slow down and pay attention.
- Chew many times before taking another bite
- Don’t go hungry (hunger can cause the body to ‘panic’ and you can end up eating everything in sight).
- Sit down when you eat
- Put the fork down between mouthfuls
Meal Planning. This can be a game changer. When healthy meals and snacks are present, we’re more likely to eat healthy. We just need to make time and get it done. And it doesn’t have to be overcomplicated. Hard boiled eggs and healthy nuts and fruit are great “fill me ups”.
Balance that Plate.
- ½ vegetables
- ¼ lean protein
- ¼ low Glycemic index (slow digested) carbs
Nb. Consider eating a piece of fruit and a tiny handful of nuts prior to a large meal. This can help with portion control and overloading your system.
Don’t count calories. Food isn’t arithmetic.
Ultimately, make changes that are smart and sustainable and won’t make you miserable. Be patient with yourself. Don’t overcomplicate it with counting every morsel and scrap. Eat non-processed, move more, get more sleep and manage your stress.
Get healthy. Eat smart. Train smart.