Have you had one of those days when you look up to see that it’s 2pm and all you’ve eaten is some yogurt with your morning coffee? Or, have you ever sworn off sugar only to find yourself eating two brownies at your 5pm business mixer?
I get it! I see many smart people who desire to eat healthily, yet are seemingly unable to do so. The typical solution to most eating struggles is a set of rules to control you and your intake. But, ugh…they’re a drudgery and they don’t work long-term.
That’s why I love these five anti-rules to stop dieting and make food healthy and enjoyable:
- Enjoy food. It sounds simple but we don’t always equate healthy with tasty. Start out the day with a real breakfast that you like. By real, I mean an amount and balance of food (carbohydrate, protein and fat) that will really satisfy you for a few hours. Guess what? A 200 calorie “healthy” bowl of cereal, yogurt, etc. will not fit the bill. And make sure you enjoy what you eat. If not, you create a satisfaction deficit that you will eventually have to fill.
- Set a timer. If you have the tendency to work through lunch, set a timer to remind yourself to eat. The longer you go without eating – the hungrier you get – the more likely you will overeat and make poor choices later in the day. Remember that taking a break makes you more productive upon return. Your body and brain need the fuel and the downtime.
- Add rather than subtract. When you think of eating healthfully what comes to mind? If it’s all about what you shouldn’t eat, consider flipping that around. What would you like to eat/drink more of? Often in the adding of things, subtraction will naturally occur because there is only so much room in your stomach.
- Get comfortable saying “no.” You do not need to eat food to make someone else happy. You can turn down food at a party without offending your host. If you do it politely and he or she is upset, it’s not your problem. If you overeat to make someone happy, now that’s your problem.
- Disengage from diet talk. The way we talk about food is often clinical and devoid of joy (what we should and shouldn’t eat). We compare diets – and results – and the more we focus on a diet the harder it is to follow its rules. Have better conversations, ones that enrich your health and enjoyment of life. Avoid comparisons and wondering about the greener grass of another diet. Actually, that grass is brown.
And there you go! Five anti-rules to make food healthy and enjoyable.
Join me on Facebook where we stop dieting and encourage a lifestyle where you get to have a healthy relationship with food, fit into your pants, and not obsess over every calorie!