Mmm, the glorious food! We have long forgotten the biological notion of eating food. Basically, instead of eating in order to satisfy our needs for hunger, refill with energy and quality nutrients for the entire organism, we have started over-eating just because food had become extremely tasty. Moreover, another factor for applying the all-or-nothing approach is the time. Due to a hectic and busy lifestyle we simply “let loose” and “relax” and start eating what suits us at that moment. Learning how to start eating moderately takes patience, time, and a lot of diligence. Here are vital ways to kick off old routines and start implementing new eating regimes.
Quit binge eating
Okay, lets’ face it, we all like to eat. Those who say that they don’t like a warm slice of pizza or delicious ice cream are only fooling themselves. Your goal is not to starve yourself or quit eating your favorite foods the moment you decide to go on a diet. On the contrary, you need to slowly reduce the bad “all-or-nothing” habit and, in the first place, stop binge eating. You need to gather enough courage to know when to stop. It will be really hard in the beginning, believe me, but only by removing the feelings of deprivation, you will be able to quit overindulging yourself later on. This is the first step towards eating moderately. Get under control, and don’t eat excessively, but from time to time give yourself mental permission to eat more of your favorite foods.
Have a mental organizational plan
Eating quality and healthy food during the week and then grabbing hamburger and chocolate cake during the weekend is not the way to achieve the moderation eating goal. You have to set your mind and delegate your meal plan meticulously during the whole week, including the weekend. If you don’t have time to think of and prepare your own food, you can always create and customize your own healthy meal plans and even bring your food with you. For instance, one day you can order and customize beef lasagna with green beans, the next day a grilled chicken with veg pilav, and in that way, you would slowly switch to moderate diet. The following days you could only change the type of meat and vegetables. For a snack, take an apple or nuts. It will be hard to keep up, especially if you were used to the all-or-nothing type of eating, but with a clear mental organizational plan, it is all possible.
Enforce a mediocre diet
One of the best and most effective ways to quit the all-or-nothing approach is to stop rationalizing your food choices. If after a long week of eating healthy foods you decide to “reward” yourself with a piece of cheesecake, don’t dwell about it and just do it. This is a physiological state of mind, but in order to start eating moderately, you need to be firm of your choices. You can eat that piece of cake as long as you don’t eat the whole cake. A mediocre diet means that you can indulge yourself with some of the foods you crave for unless you eat in abundance. You need to realize that less is sometimes more. So, instead of not eating certain foods at all, try adding new foods to your diet every day. For a successful practice of eating in moderation, you need to learn how to add reasonable quantities of new foods and old treats.
Find your middle ground
When it comes to achieving positive results towards eating moderately, you should opt to find your own “middle ground”. This is a place, time, or a “way” to stay satisfied and happy during the whole week. The aim is to enjoy the food that you are eating. The old all-or-nothing approach is basically satisfying your need in that instant second, but later on, you regret feeling so full and blown up like a balloon and the weight is growing and growing. That is why your middle ground allows you to add 150-200 calories of your favorite food during the day and avoid torturing yourself. You can add some bacon to the green salad, sprinkle a little bit of cheese to the eggs, or put cream to your morning coffee, and so on.
Adjust your food language
Food is not bad. Period. Food gives us stamina, energy and power to survive the day. There is no “good” or “bad” food, there is only the idea of eating good or bad food. Change the way you talk and think about it. Give yourself permission to enjoy treats during the week as long as you don’t overeat. All food can be enjoyed in moderation if you have constrictive language and outlook attitude towards it.
Changing old habits is hard enough, but everything could be achieved if you learn to enjoy the process by being consistent, curious, and determined. Navigate your passions, and as with all other things in life, practice makes it perfect.
The Carousel would like to thank Helen Bradford for her article.