Healthy Eating Guidelines.
Mindful Eating: What and When do I eat?
What is more important, what you eat and when or how you eat certain foods together? They are all equally important. It’s all part of mindful eating and having healthy eating guidelines.
There is a growing struggle among Americans of what to eat and that leads us to the question, “Do we even remember how to eat correctly?” Eating has become so complicated, partly in fact by the availability of food and the variety of choices; along with ads that send messages to our brains to eat more food. Before you know it, you have become trained to eat when you are not hungry. That’s why having healthy eating guidelines will help you rise above those temptations and truly feed your body what it needs and when it needs it.
What is the problem? Eating is living!
The problem is the results. These eating habits result in excess body weight and high body fat percentage, which leads to a variety of health problems. Excess weight makes it hard to lead an active lifestyle without injury. It can affect self-image and lower self-esteem as well as set a bad example to family members. Most notably excess body weight will negatively affect your long-term health. Are you here for a good time or a long time? I choose the latter and embrace a holistic approach to health that starts with the basics: mindful eating.
Mindful Eating Basics
The basics are easy: eat enough, eat the right foods, and eat at the right time. I do not agree with everything that has been taught to us but concepts like: based on a 2,000 calorie diet, three square meals a day, the food pyramid, and exercise up to 30 minutes a day have merit for the masses. It is not a one-size-fits-all, but these principles will keep you playing by the basic rules. So where do I start with mindful eating? Below are our healthy eating guidelines to get you started.
Healthy Eating Guidelines
- BREAKFAST. Our guidelines for healthy eating starts in the morning. Walnuts, egg whites, and oatmeal are foods of nature. These are my daily breakfast go-to’s. When put together, a proper combination of protein, fat, and carbohydrate satiate the body and give it what it needs. Do you find yourself ravenous at and after supper? Studies show that regular breakfast eaters control their appetite better throughout the day than breakfast skippers. The point – eat breakfast!
- LUNCH. Am I hungry or am I eating to entertain myself or others? Has intermittent snacking held off the need for a complete meal? Instead, try eating another complete meal 3-4 hours after eating breakfast and see if you are still truly hungry. Otherwise, you could be experiencing head hunger, a.k.a boredom, or bad habit. If you are truly hungry, make it a complete meal, enjoy what you eat, and know when to stop.
- SNACK ATTACK! 3:00 pm can be a snackathon problem for office workers and stay-at-homers. Are you bored or need a work break? What do you do, decide to snack or take a walk? Or did you under eat earlier and now the body is too hungry and experiencing a possible drop in blood sugar? Watch out! This time of day can account for 1000’s of out-of-control snacking calories that generally end in bloating and discomfort. Be mindful if you choose to have a snack. Remember this is not another meal.
- WARNING SIGN: If you find yourself craving sugar all the time, eat more real food. You CAN change your craving from a candy bar to ½ a baked chicken. When you get to the craving stage, it is generally too late, your body wants quick, fast calories. Stay ahead of your hunger and don’t forget your mindful eating tactics.
- FOOD JOURNALING. This is the best method to getting your “food train” back on its tracks. Start with a 3-day journal and write EVERYTHING you consume. This will help you develop mindful eating habits. Would you want your children, parents, or best friends to eat like you? If yes, great, share your wisdom. If not, look for the gaps and pitfalls in your habits. Our Health & Wellness program dives deeper into mindful eating and getting back on track.
- PROTEIN & SUPPER. I’m not on the protein police where everything needs to be protein, but protein is satiating. Protein builds muscle and promotes fat burning. It’s very difficult for your body to convert protein into fat. Now let me paint a picture of what my plate looks like: it’s almost ½ protein, ¼ green vegetables, and a ¼ of low glycemic carbohydrates like brown rice, sweet potatoes, or whole wheat bread like Ezekial bread. This is the most crucial of our healthy eating guidelines.
Use your food journal to get down to the basics. Eat consistently and real food. There is no need or sense to snack at 11 pm or to eat muffins and iced cinnamon buns at 6:30 am. I encourage you to balance your diet and build your healthy eating habits from the ground up. These mindful eating habits and healthy eating guidelines will jump-start you towards the healthier lifestyle you desire.
If you would like to go to the next level of understanding proper eating, performance eating, metabolic eating, or just healthy eating, let’s connect!
I’d love to hear about your questions, concerns, goals, and frustrations!