Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Food as joy and energy source

One of my friends recently asked me, how he can achieve his goals for next years triathlon season including losing some weight.
Rule # 1: Don't beat yourself up over your current weight. Beating yourself up can lead to extreme reactions such as a diet, which is not sustainable and you will bounce back to what you were before. Plus it simply is too much pressure, we already have to deal with enough "stress" in our daily activities; family, work and our busy schedules.

Alright, now that we are done beating ourselves up, we can look at what we have been eating. My friend did a great job documenting and analyzing his nutrition, starting with breakfast. He realized a few things regarding his lunch and his dinners and at the same time found out that his percentages of crabs, protein and fat where off from where he thought they would be.

Before we start looking at what changes to make, we need to understand that food is there to be enjoyed and it isn't something bad. We usually sit down, have a good conversation over breakfast, lunch or dinner and indulge ourselves with a favorite meal. If you are rushing through your meal, you should probably consider taking a few minutes to sit down and eat!!

Without knowing, my friend probably feels tired and wants to take a nap after some of his meals. A reason for that may be that the meals consists of meat, some fried side dish and cheese. All of those foods are difficult for your system to digest. Ever cleaned a pot after preparing mac & cheese? Cheese is generally speaking high in fat content and its chemical structures are hard to break down, so is the fat your french fries and the meat your eating was cooked in, especially when eating out.

Again, it is about enjoying your food and providing your body with the energy it needs. Since it is hard to make changes to your diet without going through major cravings, I would suggest to have 2 days a week where you don't eat cheese and another two days (separate days), where you don't eat meat or fried food. 

I will continue to provide ideas to slowly change your diet in a sustainable and enjoyable way, for it to become your new way of walking through your life - feeling good and energized after eating.

Enjoy your meal.

PS: Before every meal, have a glass of water. You are probably not drinking enough throughout the day anyway and it will take up some room in your tummy that would otherwise be consumed by the 20-30 % of food that shouldn't be on your plate to begin with! Don't fell bad leaving something on your table, even if your grandma told you not to :)

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