Do you remember last night’s dinner? Have you already started thinking about tonight’s dinner? Sadly, as a society, we fetish-ize food and then shame ourselves for the consumption. Fortunately, we can change our relationship with food. In fact, my weight-loss clients love that they’re not always thinking about food. They are truly eating to live, not living to eat.
The following is an evaluation of some quick-food strategies so you can decide if they’re right for you:
- Vitamins — Pros: Vitamins are essential for losing weight and staying fit. My reality? I can’t possibly eat all the nutrients I need to sustain my activities. I’d be eating all day long. By starting the day with a multi-vitamin, your body will forage less throughout the day. Cons: Expensive, health concerns regarding industrial processing and materials. Not as beneficial as fresh food.
- Cleanses — Pros: It’s a decisive way to get on track. Cons: Most likely it will derail you. Often candida (yeast) overgrowth will die off, making people uncomfortable or feel sick. If caffeine is cut, there’ll be withdrawal (headaches, aches, fatigue, cranky). Plus, there’s the starving. Ultimately, strict cleanses starve your body and your body will rebel. How about a one-day cleanse? The reality is, if you want to create healthy habits, why starve the body even one day?
- Protein Shakes — Pros: Maximum protein and vitamins. No thinking and the prep is easy — one meal solved. They’re great for breakfast (especially for those who skip) or refueling after a workout. Sometimes I have one before a long ride to prevent tiredness. They’re also filling! One glass and I’m still full four hours later! Cons: Expensive, poor tasting and must be eaten quickly before the protein/soy fibers expand. Some are overly processed and use GMO products. I have eaten Garden of Life’s Raw Meal, which uses vegetable protein (non soy) and Isagenix (soy). The Raw Meal is a taste challenge, but I only use one scoop and add a banana, almond flavor, unsweetened chocolate, water, ice and then blend. Isagenix is tasty, but expensive and a multi-level marketing system. If you’re curious and know a distributor, buy a one-serving packet. Some distributors may give one for free.
- Juicing — Pros: Maximizes vitamins while not letting food go to waste. Skin will glow. Also, real food vitamins vs processed. Cons: Expensive. Wasteful. Liquid calories. There’s no fiber, so you’ll feel hungry sooner and eat more over the long run. If you’re worried about throwing away vegetables, make soup or shakes. Also, liquid diets tend to encourage fat storage around the stomach and posterior. Ever wonder why beer drinkers have a belly?
- Microwave — Pro: Heats food quick. Cons: Decreases nutritional value and creates unsavory food. I gave away two microwaves five years ago. My current microwave is unplugged and used for dish storage. People debate whether microwaves damage the cell structure and food nutrition. I say, let your taste buds decide. Have you ever preferred microwaved food?
Quick food ideas
The following are some quick ideas to eat more healthily. They might be familiar, but now is the time to implement these suggestions:
- Dash Diet: Twenty years ago I needed to reduce my blood pressure. This “diet” emphasizes fruits, vegetables, lean meats and healthy fats while decreasing carbohydrates (breads, noodles, etc.). Since then, the Dash Diet continues to be listed as the top diet by Consumer Reports & U.S. News & World Report.
- Hunger: Are you really hungry? Ask before you eat. Sense your stomach (it’s under the chest, to the left. Our belly houses the small intestine.) If you’re truly hungry, you’ll sense it in the stomach.
- Feelings: If you’re food finicky, you’re probably not hungry. Ask yourself what emotion you’re feeling and choose a true solution. In fact, many people feed their fears.
- Water: Drink a glass of water before a meal and take a sip between each bite. You’ll feel full more quickly and allow your stomach to tell your brain you’re full. Trust me, this works.
- Citrus: Citrus fruit quickly satiates the taste buds, help people digest food and feel full faster. You can eat the fruit or make lemon ice cubes.
- Desserts: Rather than eliminate desserts, eat desserts twice a week. That way you won’t feel deprived. Also, focus on fruit-based desserts.
- Stomach/Back Exercises: The stronger your stomach, the smaller the gut! Also, a strong back complements stomach muscles.
- Cook Dancing: When I cook, I move, dance and throw in some stretches. It doesn’t replace a complete workout, but it does burn calories and makes the time pass quickly.
- Eat Nutritionally Dense Foods: Focus on foods that pack nutrients and vitamins: Broccoli, spinach, grapefruit and more.
- Don’t Over Exercise: Exercise too much and you’ll be inclined to overeat and wear out your body. Eat and exercise in moderation.
- Stomach Conversation: When I’m hungry and food isn’t available, I’ll have a talk with my stomach. That usually stops the hunger pains and when I do eat, I won’t overeat. (On my website, I have a downloadable audio mediation to try.)
- Hypnotherapy: A well-trained hypnotherapist can help you heal self-sabotages that derail your relationship with food!