Food | Health

Food For Thought: Tips To Support Healthy Eating Habits

food platter - healthy eating
Via: Katie Smith

Eating is an essential part of our lives and often becomes an event in itself during special occasions throughout the year. It’s important to open the conversation about mindset around nutrition as we approach our everyday meals as well as those days where there’s an over abundance of delicious options.

I would like to mention that these tips are merely guidelines, not rules you must live or abide by. If you are noticing food over indulgences or restrictive tendencies, please consult a nutritionist or psychologist for personalized assistance.

“According to new research, people gain the majority of their weight in the last 10 weeks of the year. Cornell University researcher Brian Wanskin studies people in three countries and found no one was immune to holiday weight gain” (Frances Thomas, CBC Newsday). As a Health and Fitness Coach, it is my duty to ensure my clients are equipped with tools and tricks to make it through special occasions on track, while still embracing the festivities.

Here are a few of my best tips:

1. Plate Size

Let’s look at innate vs. learned behaviour around food. Innately, our bodies simply do not need the kind of abundance that we have at our fingertips. We can and do survive on much less than we have learned to indulge. Dinner plates and in turn, portion sizes have grown substantially in the past few decades. “Since 1960 the overall surface area of an average dinner plate has increased 36 percent” (Penny Klatell, Eat Out Eat Well). Where traditional dinner plates measure 7 to 9 inches, we now sport dinner plates ranging from 11 to 12 inches.

At your next big special occasion meal try using a salad plate or switching to a 10-inch dinner to get a handle on proper portion sizes. You will consume 22% less of the additional food that would be stored away in your body.

via: Pepe Nero

2. Food is Fuel

Whether during a holiday feast or not, food has become a go-to reward or punishment staple. The tough-love bottom line is that food is simply fuel for your body. No matter how much of a foodie you are, I am too, keep in mind food is fuel and it is vital for our own mental health not to link our emotions to food.

If you want to reward yourself, try a fun activity or self-care treatment: Get your nails done, go for a hike, take the night off or run yourself a bubble bath.

When you are feeling the need to over-indulge or severely deprive yourself of food, remind yourself that food is simply fuel to keep you healthy. If staying on track this holiday is truly important to you, then make it a priority.

Via: @opi

3. The 25/28 Rule of Balance

Balance; a term you have undoubtedly heard by all coaches under the sun. Let me fill you in on one of the best weekly techniques I do with my clients. I call it the 25/28 Rule of Balance. Mindful, enjoyment of all that you consume. If you are consuming four small, rounded meals each day, this amounts to 28 meals a week. If you maintain 25 of those meals to be clean and well-balanced, the remaining three meals will not make or break your nutrition plan; granted these three meals are not over indulgences. Leaving room for a few off-plan meals within your week gives you some free reign for when the parties come around. Paired with proper portion sizes and lots of fluids, finding simple balance day-to-day will carry you through those special occasions.

Try something for me. When you think you’re hungry, go for a big glass of water first. Hydration is offset by caffeinated beverages, alcohol and diets high in sodium. Girl, you’re probably thirsty.

Via: Anda Ambrosini

4. Support Local

What could be better or more joyful than to stroll down to your neighborhood farmers market and prepare your table with local preserves and farm fresh greens. Understanding where the food on your plate is coming from and supporting local produce is a beautiful way to support your community and simultaneously reduce your carbon footprint from product transportation. Staying mindful of our food sources brings a sense of comfort and compassion towards our purchases and even more so when consuming it.

Buy lean, grass fed meat, all the greens you can get your hands on and, let’s face it, nothing beats a good homemade soup.

food basket
Via: Shelley Pauls

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