How should you eat? Yes…..how. You say, but I know how to eat. You put food in your mouth, you chew, you swallow and repeat. Easy…right? Well, yes….and no. Many people today have an emotional relationship with their food. It becomes a friend, a companion to celebrate their successes or turn to when stress overwhelms their lives. Food takes on a life of its own and becomes a living being.
Food has become a source of pleasure, comfort and reward for people today. Advertisers have developed campaigns to make you think of food 24/7 and we wonder why obesity is at epidemic proportions. It’s on T.V, radio, billboards and our computers. Some of us think about food when we first get up in the morning, all throughout the day and as we lay our head down at night.
So how should we think of food? It all started with our ancestors, the cave people. Back then they had to forage for their food. It was hard work! And they didn’t know how long it would be before they would be able to eat again, so when they ate….they gorged! It’s built into our systems to want to eat this way. The problem is that we aren’t as active as our ancestors were. Everything is at our fingertips so we don’t have to work as hard as they did in order to survive. But our bodies still want to eat, eat, eat!
Food is meant to be fuel for our body. It helps it to run efficiently. Just like gas is used to make a car run. Without gas, your car won’t get you very far and the same with food. Now what happens to your car if you put bad gas in it? You start having problems like lower gas mileage, it get’s sluggish, no pick up when you press on the gas pedal. Sound familiar? The same thing happens when you eat a bunch of junk! The cleaner you eat, the better you feel. It really is that simple! The thing to remember is that you have to balance what you take in with how active you are. When you take in more calories than you burn, you gain weight. High fat foods have more calories so it takes less of them to meet your daily output.
You also have to keep in mind how often you eat. A lot of people today think that if they only eat one time a day they will lose weight. Au contraire! If you only eat one time a day, your body goes into what’s called conservation mode. In other words, you can eat the healthiest salad one time a day and that’s it…..and you wouldn’t lose any weight. Why? Because your body thinks it’s starving so it’s going to store anything, and I mean ANYTHING, as fat. Not only that but you will lose muscle as well. Basically your body will feed on itself. Sounds appetizing doesn’t it!!
So, what do you do? Research has shown that if you will fuel your body with good quality foods in small portions about every 3 hours it will help to raise your metabolism and keep it stoked throughout the day. Kind of like putting kindling on a fire! It keeps the fire burning all day long. High protein, low carbohydrates help maintain muscle while giving you lots of energy, helps to make you feel full longer and lose weight. You don’t need big portions and remember to drink lots of water. At the minimum you want 64 oz a day. Take into account working outside, exercising and drinking caffeine all of which will deplete your body of water so drink more for these activities.
Food is great! Food is a necessity! Food doesn’t have to be boring! Have fun with it, experiment with different recipes. Just remember that food is meant for fuel. It’s something your body needs to operate efficiently and the better you take care of your body, the better it will take care of you!
Let me know what your thoughts are on this subject. Any recipes you want to share? I’d love to hear from all of you.