Thursday, December 10, 2015

Five basic steps to better food choices

Here are what I consider to be the five most important habits to get into when shopping, eating out or cooking at home:

1)  Begin to view food as nourishment:  What I mean to say is that you need to change your perception of food.  Meals are supposed to be your body's friend and not its enemy.  Yes, you can indulge once in awhile.  You should, because life is short.  However, at its most stripped-down, food provides the basic elements that your body needs to survive.  On a daily basis (all day), just ask yourself this question before buying/eating anything, "Does my body really 'need' this?"

2)  Become more aware of when you're full:  Develop an understanding of true physical hunger, satisfaction and fullness.  Learn how they differ from emotional hunger, satisfaction and fullness.  It's human nature to keep eating something that tastes great, especially if there's plenty of it (like a buffet or Thanksgiving).  The fact is that most of us tend to keep eating after we're actually full.  Start getting into smaller portions.

3)  Boost hydration:  This one's big.  Adequate hydration can solve a multitude of dieting woes.  From improved energy and digestion to curbing food cravings and over-eating, water is a vital component to maintaining a healthy body and relationship with food.  If water is 'boring', then keep a pitcher of tea in your refrigerator.  Dehydration is pretty much the number one cause of aging - and a host of other problems.  Seek out water-rich foods and drinks whenever possible.

4)  Identify and remove foods that don’t serve you:  This is a tough one, but it needs to become a habit.  There are foods (even entire food groups) that trigger dysfunction in your body.  Let me put it this way; grease, sugar and salt are not your friends.  Carbs are another problem.  Everyone loves tasty breads, potatoes and such.  Those things are diet busters.  Just be mindful of that.  Be aware of it when making food choices.

5)  Have a plan and stick to it:  This should probably be #1, but it really comes down to little decisions that you make - all day long, all week long and all year long.  It comes down to being consistent.  Yeah, you'll slip up once in awhile.  Everybody does.  Trust me when I tell you that when you change your habits, your body will begin to change.

Here's the bottom line; if you instinctively think, "I shouldn't eat that"... you're right. Go with your gut feeling - in more ways than one!

If you need more motivation, take a tour of a hospital ICU or a grave yard.

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