I’m always intrigued by people’s response and reaction to food. Some treat it like it is poison and needs to be avoided at all costs, others treat it like a drug and they are constantly looking for their next hit. I treat it like it’s my energy source as well as something to enjoy. There’s some great benefit in being able to have your cake and eat it too.
There’s an obsession at the moment with healthy eating – which is fantastic! We are slowly moving away from the idea of ‘dieting’ and moving towards a more long lasting, sustainable approach.
What does healthy mean to you? When it comes to food healthy to me means whole, unprocessed, natural food. There are many fancy names for it; Clean Eating is one that gets tossed around a lot. At the end of the day – all it means is that you’re eating nutritious food, as close to it’s natural state as possible. More info on whole foods here >> 7 Steps to A Whole Foods Diet.
So how do you work out what is a good balance of healthy food and not so healthy food? What do you do when that craving for chocolate cake kicks in?
GIVE IN TO IT!
I learned a long time ago that if I try to replace what I’m craving with any sort of substitute, 9 times out of 10 I’ll end up eating what I was craving in the first place and in the process of trying to avoid it, I would have consumed 3 times as many calories as the initial craving contained. That’s just far too complicated for me. I have a small serving of whatever it is I am craving, and then get on with it.
The world isn’t going to crumble if I eat a slice of cake. I am not going to put on 5lbs if I eat a piece of pizza. When that craving strikes and I indulge, I make sure I enjoy every little bit of what I am eating. I eat my food slowly and savor it. You’re craving it because you wanted something badly, why rush it? I do not make myself feel guilty for it and I make no apologies. I don’t negotiate with myself, no conversations of ‘if I eat this brownie now I’ll run 2 miles on the treadmill later’. Because I won’t.
I have noticed that since I have started to ‘allow’ myself to eat a little naughty every now and then, my cravings have become less and less. I actually want to eat healthier meals more often. It’s kind of like your own internal reverse psychology. If I tell myself I’m not allowed to eat something, then I’m going to want it even more.
Food is an energy source. If we eat highly nutritious, whole food often and we are fueling our bodies with good energy, then we will find we have good energy coming from it. If we ‘nourish’ it with heavy, processed, sluggish foods then we will find that we have heavy, sluggish energy coming from it.
More than anything though, food is to be enjoyed. There are so many recipes for amazingly delicious, nutrient dense meals that will be a winner every time. But when the mood strikes to indulge in something a little naughty, give in occasionally and enjoy it. Don’t beat yourself up about a little naughty every now and then. Sometimes it’s a piece of chocolate that makes me feel fantastic!