Even if you are eating healthy foods, it is important to practice portion control. All foods have calories – even salads – and calories add up whether what you are eating is healthy or not.
Some clients, when they start their exercise program and are on a healthy diet, often look for instantaneous results. Some get low results. And when we sit down to discuss their diet, many often state that they are eating healthy but are hesitant to share how much and how often. Some struggle with the change in food and the routine they are required to adapt to and overdo it during meal times.
Our conditioning is also such that from childhood love is expressed through food. We are often led to believe that more equals better. Sometimes to point of eating till the stomach hurts. Also there is food available everywhere today. In shops, stores, restaurants, food kiosks… everywhere. Gone are the days, when you had to cook when you wanted to eat.
Nepali food is generally well balanced. We just need to focus on using whole grains, fresh vegetables and less oil. While it is important to eat healthy, it is equally important to understand healthy portions and to stay committed to healthier eating patterns whether you are trying to lose weight or otherwise.
Below are some tips that may help:
• Eat at the same time always. The key is consistency in practicing meal times.
• Eat in a quiet place without a television blaring in the background or reading a newspaper simultaneously. Eat without speaking. Just focus on your meal, savour the texture and taste and eat slowly.
• Familiarise yourself with what healthy portions look like. Commit this to memory.
• When eating out, you should stick to the guideline of eating to mild fullness which means you should be left wanting just a bit more.
• Use smaller plates. This actually works when you tell yourself that you will not go for second helpings. When it’s on the plate, people tend to finish what they have taken.
• Always plate up with vegetables and salads to occupy more than half your plate, leaving the rest for rice or meat.
• Eat a minimum of three times a day. And don’t skip meals.
• Plan your meals. It may feel tedious but it will ensure that you are eating well balanced, nutritious foods and eating the right amount.
• Cook light, eat fresh, go completely vegetarian at least 2 -3 days a week. Include a lot of raw foods.
• Avoid snacks. If you get really hungry, have a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts. Check whether you are really hungry or plain thirsty.
• Ensure that you are well hydrated through the day.
• Look out for sneak calorie additions like sugar in your tea and coffee, switch to green tea if you can.
• Always listen to your body… this will require practice. We are good at listening to the mind. When we know we are on a routine, we may feel hungry all the time and have cravings for all the things we want to avoid… that’s the mind playing games.
• If you are already not exercising, please incorporate at least 30 to 45 minutes of brisk exercise every day.
• Meditate or spend 10 -15 minutes of quiet time on a daily basis.