Changing Your Approach Towards Food
Saturday, January 30, 2010
How many of you have ever not tracked a food because you were embarrassed by what you ate or wanted to forget it? hands please.... yea that's what I thought, we've all been there
Now how many of you have ever eaten something JUST so you could put it into your tracker? anyone? no...
How many of you have ever not tracked your exercise because you wanted to forget about it? Didn't think so.
What about exercising just so you could track it and reach those goals? Yup, I have too.
So why is it that our answers to the food and fitness questions give opposite answers?
I'll tell you. As a whole we tend to view exercise as positive and food as negative. This is not a healthy way to think. It often leads us down the path of unhealthy eating behaviors such as deprivation, bad food choices (every picked sugar free pudding over a banana bc it was less calories?), or feelings of guilt that lead to more bad eating... you get the idea.
What's a healthy food? whole, unprocessed, full of nutrients. easy right? So instead of focusing on what you can't eat or put in your tracker, start throwing on more things to track, go ahead add fiber, vitamins, calcium, iron, whatever you want. Now eat foods that make these things go up (but pretty please don't use this as an excuse to eat more processed crap just because it's fortified, okay?).
The point is to focus on eating things that you are PROUD to track. Focus on how great it feels to add spinach, apples, sweet potatoes, whole grains, and broccoli to your day. Watch your calories of course but chances are with whole eating it will come much more naturally anyways since your body is getting what it needs and real food to satisfy and fill you up (but that's a whole other conversation). Don't overeat but eat things and be proud to track them! At the end of the day look at how many fruits and veggies are on there. Don't feel guilty because there is an oops moment or treat there, be happy that you have 7 servings of fruits and veggies or that you increased your vitamin intake or switched to 100% whole grain.
Don't get obsessed with more numbers that you "have" to reach but focus on how these types of foods add to your overall health. Before you eat something ask yourself does this add to the health of my body. If the answer is yes, go for it! In moderation of course. If the answer is that it detracts from your health than why eat it? Pick the things you really love as treats and try to forget the rest.
Are you really proud to track that sugar free jelly just because it's low in calories even though it's packed with chemicals, preservatives, and additives? Is that really adding to your health, is the detrimental impact worth saving 20 calories? What about choosing and using a serving of an all fruit version that maintains vitamins and offers the deliciousness of real fruit. Go ahead and be proud to track your healthy decision even if there are 20 more calories.
Try to focus on the big picture. This is your lifestyle you are in it to look great but also to BE healthy, otherwise what's the point? Looking great on the outside starts from your nutrition and wholesome choices are always the way to go. So go ahead and watch your calories but not at the expense of choosing foods that you can be proud to track. I have never once felt bad about a day that I went 100 calories over where I saw 15 servings of fruits and veggies (yes that's fairly normal for me), healthy protein, and 100% whole grains. But I would feel bad if I had stayed within my calorie goal but eliminated one of those fruit servings for a fat free sugar free jell-o that I didn't even think tasted very good JUST so I could avoid calories.
I'm going to end here before I beat the subject to death but I'm sure you all get the idea! I look forward to your questions and comments below!