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> Back to Healthy Eating Excerpts List

Healthy Eating Excerpt from Don't Weight

Have You Eaten Enough Today?

After years and years of being told that you are overweight because you eat too much, did you ever think somebody would tell you to eat more? Well, it is happening today. I am telling you that to build your healthy eating style, you may need to eat more. During this process, we will focus on what you should eat, instead of what you should not eat.

There is NO RESTRICTED eating in this process. You are encouraged to eat foods that are good for your health, (you won't hear me telling you to avoid or restrict any particular foods.) You are encouraged to be more aware of when you are satisfied, not to limit portions.

It takes
every minute of
every hour of
every day to
NOT eat something.

It takes just a moment
to eat something healthy.

When you focus on selecting and eating all the wonderful tasty foods that are good for you, your time and energy will be spent eating healthy foods and enjoying every bite. This healthy eating is a task that can take up all the energy you used to put into restricting and limiting your eating.

Many people "get the munchies" in the evening. If you are one of those people, ask yourself: "Have I eaten enough today?" "Did I eat enough fruit and veggies?" "Did I eat when I was hungry?" "How was my nutrition?" If you realize that you didn't eat enough veggies, you could have a salad or bowl of vegetable soup. If you notice that you were low on protein today, you could have a high protein snack. If you realize that you were hungry during the day, had nothing to eat, and therefore stayed hungry too long, you could plan a way to avoid that situation in the future.

This is a fundamentally different look at healthy eating. There is NO portion control. There is NO deprivation. If you have an emotional need to put a lot of energy into this healthy eating process ... fine. Think a lot about these constructive concepts and focuses. Ask yourself the questions in the above paragraph often.

If you can't stand the thought of putting energy into thinking about your eating ... FINE. Ask yourself these constructive questions whenever you seem to be worrying about food or body image issues anyway. You would not be spending any more energy. You would just be redirecting your already used energy into a more constructive focus.

Everybody of every size, large or small, needs to eat enough foods for good nutrition.

The recommended number of servings of fruits and vegetables per day is FIVE. I call these foods the "live foods". Few people get enough live foods in the course of the day. If you want to improve your healthy eating, eat more fruits and vegetables. This sounds like a simple goal to achieve. This is not a simple goal. This goal, like so many lifestyle goals, is much more complicated than it seems at first glance. Be prepared to go through a process of trying things that sometimes work, and sometimes don't. Have you ever planned on eating more fruits and veggies, but somehow it just didn't work out? Welcome to the human race! Be patient with yourself. Consider it a mystery. Work on solving the mystery, taking one step at a time. Ask yourself questions like these:

  • Do I have access to fruits and veggies? You may need to change the way you shop and store your produce. This could involve reworking your entire schedule to include a different shopping pattern. You may need to learn new ways of ordering food at restaurants or come up with better ways of packing your lunch.
  • Do I have enjoyment-based motivation to eat my fruits and veggies? The most common reason I hear for not liking fruits and veggies is that they "feel like diet food". You may not be able to motivate yourself just because "it is good for you". You can motivate yourself with enjoyment, with foods that taste and look appetizing. Find delicious ways to enjoy these healthy foods, then you will eat them because you enjoy them. Keep a beautiful fruit bowl on your table or desk. Then you will eat fruit because it looks so tasty and it is so convenient.
  • Are there any problems with eating fruits and veggies that I need to solve? Some people have digestive problems, mouth or tooth pain, gas, etc. That does not mean you need to give up on getting your healthy "live food". Get creative. Try fruits and veggies that are new to you. Experiment with food combinations and time of day that you eat. If you have gas, try Beano( (a natural food enzyme that you eat with your food that helps digestion and reduces gas.) If you have mouth or tooth pain, see your dentist and solve the problem. In general, that's the idea: Don't just live with a problem that gets in the way of taking care of yourself, work on solving it!

This is part of the process of "back up, don't beat up". You will plan to eat better foods. Sometimes you will. Those are times to notice what helped you to take care of yourself. Sometimes you will not eat as you had planned. Those are the times to back up and think about what got in the way. Writing may be a useful tool as you think through these problems. It can help you respect how complicated the process of change is. Writing can help you appreciate the effort that you put into eating healthier. It is worth the effort to include more fruits and veggies in your day. In an experiment to explored the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), researchers showed that people can lower their blood pressure in only two weeks by eating more fruits and vegetables and less saturated fat!

If you feel like you really want to make a difference in the way you eat, pay attention to what you DO (rather than what you want to avoid.) Think about what foods you want to INCREASE. Don't think about limiting or eliminating foods. When you get the munchies, ask yourself:

"Have I eaten enough today?"

The munchies are not the problem.
The fact that you may need better nutrition
and more fruits and vegetables
might be the problem.

This can be a rather enjoyable problem to solve. Get some tasty and nutritious food and enjoy it. Whether you are eating for fuel or for entertainment, savor your food. When the next bite is not as delicious as the last, ask yourself: "Why eat it?" You can answer that question and do whatever you choose.

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By Kelly Bliss M.Ed., A.C.E. author of Don’t Weight, Eat Healthy & Get Moving NOW!
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