For many of us, we eat at least 3 times a day, or more if we include snacks. But you may be someone who eats less. You might never have breakfast as you just can’t eat early in the day. We are all different when it comes to food so you have to do what feels good and right for you.
Maybe you are someone who loves to cook and enjoys creating a lovely meal for you and/or your family. Or you cook because you have to eat and do it out of necessity rather than choice. Or maybe you order takeaways and go out as you don’t like to cook.
Think about when you go out for a meal. Would you say you ate more than you normally would if you had cooked the same meal at home? We all enjoy amazing food and it always appears to taste better when someone else has cooked it for us.
What do you look for when you go out for food? Great chef? Good range of food? Quality reviews? Value for money? Convenience? Great experience? Quality of food? Do you ever think about what your body actually needs? We often crave specific foods and then can’t wait to eat them. But it doesn’t mean to say they are the correct food for our body.
We eat food we love and food we feel is good for us, but the chances are we are not eating great 100% of the time. That is ok, go with the 80/20 rule. Making sure the 80% is great nutritious food then you can have what you like for the other 20%. Have you ever thought about what your body actually requires? What fuel it needs? Can food can ever just be fuel?
Our food has become tastier and with so much choice we can struggle to pick the right balance between what is good for us and what is tasty. Food can be both, but are we more likely to go for tasty regardless of whether it is healthy or not. No one wants to eat bland food. We want a variety and we want to enjoy it. Families sitting at a table at meal times are there to enjoy a dinner. If we viewed food as just fuel, then would we be putting as much emphasis on it?
I don’t know anyone that eats healthy all of the time, it’s not that it is impossible, it’s just unlikely to happen. We get invited to friends houses for dinner, we go out to celebrate, we have a birthday which comes with a cake – we hope! It’s difficult to eat well all of the time so cut yourself some slack and allow yourself times when you can indulge.
Hands up if you feel guilty when you eat that slice of cake or started and finished that sharing bag of Malteasers in one sitting? Why do you feel bad? If you generally eat ok and indulge at the weekends or from time to time, then don’t feel guilty. Picking that slice of cake when you are really craving it, in general is not going to make a huge difference, unless you are eating a whole cake everyday.
If you crave something, have a little of it, and take a moment between mouthfuls to notice how you feel, as quite often a few bites is all we need to satisfy ourselves. I know I can eat a large bar of chocolate and really only the first few squares were satisfying, the rest was purely because it was there and opened.
Why not try to make your favourite meals healthier. Add on a side of vegetables or ask for a salad instead of chips or garlic bread. I’ll be honest, I don’t like salads, more often than not in restaurants they are just boring lettuce, cucumber and tomato. So when I am out, I won’t ever ask for a salad. But I have started to ask for veg. Give it a go, check out the side dishes on a menu and see what vegetables they offer as you never know you might discover a new vegetable you like.
We can all get hung up on eating better, making the right choices and cutting out ‘bad’ food. However, think about how you feel when you go chocolate free or cut out all carbs. You will likely crave those foods more and perhaps give in and have some. This can leave you feeling guilty. Balance is what we require and whilst ‘diets’ work in the short term, for longer term we need to make healthier choices a habit and allow us the freedom to indulge from time to time.
Have a think about the food you are eating, notice how it makes you feel, could you incorporate any vegetables or fruit? (No, I don’t think pineapple on a pizza counts). Eat the rainbow as they say, (although that isn’t referring to Skittles). Have a great week.
Enjoy. Love Emma xx