3 top tips for lifelong healthy eating
# 1 GET INTO FOOD
To eat well we first need to understand and appreciate our food. Fortunately we have eyes, nose and taste buds to help us. Rather than avoiding the issue of our diet and having negative feelings towards food, it is vital that we love and appreciate the food we eat. After all, we literally are what we eat. So the first step to a really healthy diet is to get into food. Appreciate freshness, growing seasons, the quality of meat, fish, fruit and vegetables. Avoid processed and convenience food. Take time selecting the food you buy and treat yourself to the good stuff! Obesity and other nutrition related disorders are always associated with poor food choices. The outcomes of our relationship with food, like any other relationship in life, will depend in large part on making good choices. A famous French beauty brand cleverly uses the slogan. “Because you’re worth it” If this is true about things you put on your body, it should be even more true about things you put in your body.
# 2 LET YOURSELF GET HUNGRY
In today’s world of busy schedules and endless distractions it is easy not to really ‘listen to our bodies’. We naturally have the ability to control ourselves from over eating, rest when we are tired, drink when we are thirsty and so on. When we ignore these signals because we are rushing around it is easy to lose touch with the basics. Letting yourself get hungry does not mean starve yourself for long periods and does not mean skipping meals. It means tuning in to hunger which is a natural signal from the body that things are working properly. Adjust your portion sizes at breakfast and lunch so that at the following meal you are genuinely hungry. That way you will enjoy your food that much more and will benefit from the regenerative processes that take place between meals. Snacking on high calorie biscuits, sweets or nuts between meals will only confuse your body and make controlling your weight that much more difficult.
# 3 KNOW WHEN YOU ARE FULL
Your body has many ways of telling you not only when you are hungry but also when you have eaten enough. So listen carefully! It sounds obvious to know when you are full, but many people eat more than they need due to not hearing their body telling them they are full. This can be often be due to eating too fast, which means we only realize later on that we actually ate too much. You can avoid this by taking time to eat your food and chewing each mouthfull well. Don’t overfill your plate when dining and when you are satisfied then simply stop eating! It’s worth mentioning that those foods which are high in both sugar and fat, and lower in protein (cheesecake for example), make it very difficult for the body to sense ‘fullness’. So the more you can avoid cakes, pastries and candies which are sugar and fat rich, the easier it will be to know your natural cut off point when eating.
So there are the 3 golden rules for lifelong healthy eating. The basis of their success lies in your natural inborn abilities to know what good food is and how to moderate your intake. Many processed and pre-prepared foods contain ingredients you wouldn’t normally choose eat, so are to be avoided. By preparing your own food where possible, you will naturally select and use better quality ingredients and can adjust quantities to those which are right for you. Trust your eyes, nose and taste buds when buying fresh food and you won’t go far wrong. Then by tuning in to your body signals for when to eat and when to stop eating you will be well on the way to lifelong healthy eating.