10. Always eat your veggies.
What kind of Dietitian would I be if I didn't include this on a top 10? Veggies help to "fill you up without filling you out", and they are full of great things for your body: vitamins and fibre. So what's not to love? If you aren't yet convinced, I'm sure I can sway you over time with some inspiring recipes and prep tips - so stay tuned
9. Moderation not deprivation.
With the exception of an allergy, spiritual belief or intolerance, never label a food off limits. Healthy eating is a lifelong habit, so all foods can have a place in this plan. Placing foods in a "do not eat" category leads to negative food experiences. Allow yourself indulgences, and when you do enjoy them fully!
8. Eat to prevent "overhunger".
"Overhunger" describes that feeling when you have waited too long to eat. You are hangry, so the portions you would normally eat are not satisfying and you eat MORE. Some people even describe that they don't feel hungry until they start eating, and once they start they can't stop. The longer you wait to eat, the more likely you are to get overhungry. Its the biggest reason to eat routinely, as well as have a snack if needed between meals to tide you over.
7. Be present while you eat.
Even though it is a simple and very important concept to eating healthy and having healthy relationships with food, we rarely make the time for it. Try as often as you can to set time aside to time to sit and eat your food, as well as actually enjoy the flavours, smells, experiences of the process.
6. Move more.
Everyone can be an active person, as long as they find a type of movement they enjoy. Move more, sit less! If you are new to exercise, start slow and try a variety: so many places offer huge discounts or free classes for first timers. Or, work out in the comfort of you own home: the internet is SUCH a great resource for how-to's on exercise.
5. Find support.
Maintaining or making changes is so much easier and long-lasting when you've have the help of others. This may be family or friends following similar paths (ideal if your household is on board), getting involved in online communities with the same interests as you (hopefully this blog can grow into a great community!), or finding support groups to keep you accountable.
4. If it sounds too good to be true...
Everyone has heard this so many times, but when a new diet craze hits the media people seem to forget this simple concept: "If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is". Extreme diets/ yo-yo dieting can wreak havoc on your metabolism and your health. Be kind to your body! Which leads me to....
3. Whole eating is a lifelong habit!
Making extreme changes to your diet that you know you can't, or don't want, to stick to long term is no help to your health. If you start making changes ask yourself, can I see myself doing this in 1 month, 6 months, one year...and beyond? Building a healthy lifestyle and adopting a wholistic eating approach is important for your mental and physical health. It can take time to make changes and thats ok: make small, realistic changes that make you feel good and you can maintain. The more you repeat these new habits, the easier it will be until it becomes your new lifestyle.
2. Find your "Feel Good"
We are all very unique individuals, so there is no ONE eating solution that works for everyone. We all come with our own beliefs, environmental influences, health concerns, tolerances, etc and these can change over time. I don't pretend to have all the answers, but I do hope that I can provide some insight and support in your individual journeys. But always remember, this is YOUR life, YOUR body and YOUR journey: don't lose sight of what makes you feel good mentally, spiritually and physically.
1. Focus on "Wholistic" Eating
This final tip brings together several others from the list. Although what food and food patterns we may choose are unique, all of us can benefic from wholistic eating. In my practice, I define wholistic eating as a marrying of whole foods with the mindful or intuitive eating practice. Respect your body by fueling most often with whole foods (foods that don't come in packages) that make you feel good. Listen to your appetite as well and feed your body only as much as it needs, when it cues you. Beyond you, also take time to respect your food since its gone through a long journey to get to your plate. Eat it slowly and involve all the senses.
xo Eat Well, Move more and Savour Life.