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Eating Healthy Without Dieting

Eating Healthy Without Dieting

Looking back at college pictures, I think, “I wish I was as heavy now as I thought I was then.” I was always on a strict diet of chalky protein shakes. On the weekends, I would relapse from my liquid diet and binge eat junk food in the early morning hours. Monday, I was back to sipping shakes. It took me the better part of 30 years to learn there is a better way to regulate my diet, one that is more sustainable and provides me the energy I need.

Got a big chuckle walking through the protein shake aisle recently reminiscing about college days.

As I worked to grasp this concept, I was guided and enlighted by Geneen Roth’s book Women Food and God. I strongly recommend this read, even if you’re a man! Geneen discusses her own battles with food addiction and offers some rules on how to eat with intention. For me, they boil down to a few simple concepts:

Good food is whole food.

The less processing involved, the better. Food is energy, meant to replenish us physically. Good food in, good energy out. Bad food in, bad energy out. When you visit the grocery store and consider recipes for the coming week, keep in mind:

  • – The brighter in color, the better the nutritional value when it comes to fruits and veggies.
  • – You can’t go wrong when the signs, boxes and wrappers say: “organic,” “non-GMO,” “grass-fed,” “whole grain” and “free range.” It’s worth the extra dollar or two.
  • – “All natural” is misleading because the food may include added fat, sugar and genetically modified ingredients.

Why are you eating if you aren’t hungry?

Most of us have no problem finding food whenever we want or need it, so we have to ask ourselves: “Am I truly hungry?” If the answer is no, you aren’t eating for the right reason, to give your body energy. Try again later. Another way to test your hunger is to drink a whole glass of water prior to your meal. Water is an appetite suppressant and drinking it before meals can make you feel fuller, therefore reducing the amount of food you eat.

We were meant to enjoy food.

Why do you think entertainment like the Food Network or Tasty exists? Humans are meant to enjoy food – from inception to consumption.  In America, we are infamously known for our large portion sizes. Try using smaller plates to distort how you see portions. Slowly chew your food. Put your utensil down in between bites. Try to be the last one finished with the meal. Another tip is to make your meal from scratch. You’re much more likely to enjoy your homemade dish than your storebought meal.

Set the stage for your meal.

Thoughtless eating begins with distraction. Televisions, smartphones and laptops bring the world to the table, causing you to miss the enjoyment of eating. Before you know it, you’re done with dinner and returning for a second helping. The food is unsatisfying because, let’s be honest, you didn’t even taste it. As often as you can, make meals events. Get out the placemats and candles! Whenever it is possible, eat in the presence of others so you don’t eat as much as you would like to eat if you were alone.

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Thanks for reading my blog, A Bushel and A Plate.

As a mom who cares about eating good food and knowing the farmer who grew my food, I want to help other families to nourish your families with good, traceable, sustainable food.

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