Are you a weight watcher or a food fixer?
Most of us know the foods that are good for us – vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein – as well as the sort of food that is bad for us. When weight watching some of us prefer to calorie count poor food choices, because this is the food we like. Others, we call food fixers, are open to examining what we eat, don’t stress about calorie counting, fix food choices to better manage weight, gain wider health benefits and maybe even enjoy life a bit more!
Whichever group you count yourself in, the biggest challenge for the best chance of success is how to incorporate some healthier choices into our daily eating routines. Even small changes can bring big benefits.
Swapping poor eating habits for better eating routines
- Become mindful: this is the practice of being fully aware of what’s happening within and around you in the moment. Apply this to food and what you are eating or planning to eat.
- Make time to prepare a healthy meal. Cooking at home puts you in control, with home-cooked food tending to be far lower in fat, salt, and sugar than restaurant or most processed food.
- Respect your hunger, which means you should eat as closely as possible to the time you feel hungry, but not starving. Don’t ignore your cravings; there is nothing to be guilty about in having a small piece of cake occasionally, but not as a daily routine. Banning favourite treats completely may leave us more likely to abandon a diet altogether and overindulge. Our food-lives should not be an extreme struggle of willpower versus our cravings – it will crush us.
- Keep a food diary. Many experts agree this can both make us more aware of what we are consuming and encourage us to eat fewer unhealthy foods. Several studies have shown food diaries promote successful sustained weight loss. Keeping a food diary increases our awareness of what, how much, as well as why we are eating. This can help cut out mindless munching. Food diaries are also great for helping to fix food choices, encouraging food substitutions that are tasty healthier choices.
For the weight conscious – a Mac and cheese food fix
This is a great example of how to fix food choices to better manage weight and gain wider health benefits. Throw away that stuff in a box – time to make your own, with an extra special twist!
- halve the portion of macaroni and add some butternut squash (or another vegetable of your choice – broccoli is also fab)
- for an extra boost, use whole grain macaroni
The reward – a delicious taste and satisfying result. Incredibly, these small tweaks to this classic recipe will give your mac and cheese a pleasing new dimension of taste and texture, with a hint of creamy sweetness from the squash and a note of nuttiness from the wholegrain, while also providing a healthier and satisfying meal. Just don’t undo all the good work by taking seconds…
Move beyond calories
Make eating real food Just Routine
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