Hey friends! Happy Tuesday.
Hope your week is off to a great start.
Because I’ve been pretty busy lately, I feel less creative when it comes to blog post ideas. Good thing by just reaching out to a few friends and coworkers, I beefed up my list 🙂 If you have more, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
My coworker Kelly and I were talking about how it’s SO interesting that we have MORE technology and information than EVER before regarding health and fitness, but as a society we are somehow less in shape and plumper. What gives? When is the technology hurting us versus helping?
This topic really peaked my interest, so there is more to come! Today, I wanted to cover the topic as it relates to FOOD.
Why I Don’t Count Calories:
There are PLENTY of bloggers out there for you if you want to count macros, count calories, weigh your food, and measure serving sizes. I’m just not one of them.
A fitness buzz word right now is “intuitive eating”. Which is defined as being more attuned to your body’s natural signals of hunger and listening to it. As I read more about this, it spoke to me as the way our family does things and wanted to share.
I think about Max as an example. When he was a young baby, he would cry when he was hungry and then stop eating when he was full. Now, there are weeks where he is ravenous and weeks that he will barely touch his dinner. Innately, he is balancing out his food and energy balance. There are weeks when he is growing, growing, growing and weeks where he doesn’t need as much. I’ve read a lot about older children doing this as well.
I’m also very attuned with my body’s hunger, especially being pregnant. There are days that I feel ravenous because the little babe inside of me is probably growing, growing, growing. I’ll be finish eating dinner and tell Drew, “You know what, I’m still SO hungry. I need an additional serving.” He is always responds, “Go for it girl!” even if this means I’m eating more than my 186 pound husband.
And then there are the days when I don’t feel like that. Point being: I need to also listen to my body on those days. For me, there is a clear difference between when I just WANT more and when my body is telling me it NEEDS more. Can you relate?
I’m absolutely not perfect at listening. Was that third piece of treat yourself Pizza Hut pizza on Saturday necessary? No, but it was darn good.
This brings me to my next point on finding balance in your eating. As an oncology nurse, there is an opportunity to have a treat ALMOST every single shift. Our patients are so sweet and generous and bring us baked goods as a way to say thanks. Whenever a coworkers is leaving or retiring, there is also a delicious looking cake in the breakroom. If I ate every single cupcake, cookie, cake that came my way…it would be WAY too much. Instead, I rarely indulge in these work treats. I keep a mental note of how many treats I’ve had recently and make my decision that way. I would only ever take something at work if it REALLY looked AMAZING, most of the time I know that I can go without whatever the treat of the day is. I have a voice in my head that kicks in and says, “Amy, you do not need that.” or I tell myself, “You would rather go on a frozen yogurt walk at the end of the week.”
I’m always going to promote having a healthy relationship with food, and you might be on your journey to find that. I’ve found that my healthiest relationship with food happens without counting everything I put in my mouth.
I have been the 20 something that tried multiple different diets to be skinnier/weigh less and I’ve been the girl that tracked calories on the LoseIt! app. I don’t think there is anything wrong with apps to help you count your calories or macros, but I think you should pay attention and learn from while you are tracking. I also think people are eating too few calories and getting themselves in a whole other pickle, but that’s a story for a different day. If you’re anything like me, you don’t want to be tracking for your whole life and would rather glean information from it and then go solo. You’d rather figure out what works for you, and then start listening to and trusting yourself and your body .
Everyone is wired differently, so maybe this blog post seems outlandish to you. BUT, I would challenge you to start listening to your body when it comes to food.
Here are some tried and true tips that I’ve put together for healthier eating:
Easy Tips to Healthier Eating
- Plan ahead. You need to plan a healthy week of meals, grocery shop, and then stick to it! If you make yourself a plan and get the ingredients you are way more likely to stick to your healthy eating routine. Busy people get in trouble when they don’t have healthy things on hand, and they end up picking up or making whatever is the most convenient.
- Meal preparation. I have many friends that use their Sunday to cook meals for the week. You can prepare your proteins, starches, and vegetables ahead of time and then prepare them (in correct portions) in Tupperware. This way during the week you just have to grab one and warm it up. If you are super busy during the week (it seems like most people are) than this could be a key to you eating better! Think about doing this for your lunches! If you are grabbing something from the cafeteria or fast-food everyday for lunch, this is definitely a spot that you could quickly improve with some planning and also save yourself moola! I’m a huge pack your own lunch advocate.
- Keep temptation away from the house! If you have treats in your house that you love, you are really tempting yourself and testing your willpower. It’s better to get a vary small serving (pint of ice cream) vs. a huge serving (gallon) if you are choosing a treat. I’ve mentioned it before, but this is one of my keys to life. I’m not superwoman, so I’d rather just avoid the things that really test my willpower (hello chips).
- Reduce/eliminate sugary drinks. I slightly cringe when I see people drinking soda. Really try to reduce soda, sugar laden coffee drinks, or fruit juice. These are extra calories that don’t leave you satisfied or more full and studies show people that drink sugary drinks DON’T compensate by eating less. They are one of the main culprits of the obesity epidemic!!!!!
- STOP eating out so much. Any way you slice it, when you are in control of your food preparation and portions you will be better off. Eating out is a big part of our culture and one of my favorite date nights, so I’m not saying to stop doing it. Just realize this really should only be a meal or two a week. If you are traveling or have to eat out for work, try to navigate the menu and choose a healthier option.
- Reduce alcohol consumption. This can add up to lots of calories and cause you to make some poor food choices (hello 2am pizza). If you have a goal of weight loss/being healthier this is definitely one thing that can slow you down. I was just reading an interview with a celebratory trainer and he said WHITE WINE is one of the worst enemies of waist lines. Between Max and this baby, I had about 5 drinks in those 10 months. I just love the way my body feels without alcohol on board.
- Don’t go hog wild on the weekend. Of course, easier said than done. I have weekends that I overindulge too. I usually start off feeling sluggish and crappy on Monday. If you go out to dinner and drinks on Saturday…do you really need to go out to brunch and get a bloody mary the size of your head on Sunday? Probably not. If you do overindulge, just get right back on track as soon as you can. Don’t let it be a slippery slide down to old eating habits or a “bad week”.
- Don’t be afraid to say no. I used to feel pressured to say “yes” to dessert if we were over at someone’s house or if someone took the time to make a treat. Not so much anymore. If it looks absolutely delicious, I might say yes. But, if I would rather not spend an indulgence on it…I politely decline. No one really cares, and if they do that’s weird.
Hope you find this post helpful.