You might have heard this saying before: “Create healthy habits, not restrictions.” It’s my favorite. Being new to the nutrition field and a soon to be Registered Dietitian, I resort back to this quote more times then I can even count. I cannot express how many times I’ve heard people say to me, “ You must eat so healthy” “Don’t judge me I’m eating a bagel” “How are you so skinny?” The truth is, I revolve my life around living a healthy lifestyle, surround myself with people I care about, eat food that makes me feel good and exercise to thank my body. Life is a balance. its not about focusing on one aspect.
It sounds simple, but the trick is to not create restrictions with your self. If you find your body is craving something and you restrict it, it’s usually because your body is lacking that particular nutrient. Now, I’m not saying to eat a whole box of chocolates because your body was “craving it,” but I am saying to enjoy a couple of chocolates if you really want it. And most importantly don’t feel bad about it after!
The whole point of leading a healthy lifestyle is to enjoy every event as they come your way. When special occasions arise many people overindulge on treats or overeat during meals, it seems almost traditional. (I love this “Normal Eating” quote, which touches on this!)
If you ate a lot during the holidays, you didn’t ruin your goal of living a healthier lifestyle. The point of leading a healthier lifestyle is to be able to enjoy different aspects of your life. Hating yourself for what is already done will prevent you from going forth.
What’s done is done and if you ate those treats, you must have really wanted it right? You were listening to your body.
HOW DO YOU CREATE HEALTHY HABITS FOR YOURSELF?
IT STARTS IN SIMPLE STEPS. TAKE IT SLOW.
Here’s 4 Simple Ways to Enjoy Food without deprivation:
1. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.
It is a lot smarter than you. Ask yourself, are you actually hungry, are you really craving that food? Eat it if you are! Sometimes your mind and body think differently. It’s important to not forget that sometimes your mind thinks faster than your body. But, don’t worry, your body will usually tell you when to slow down. You just have to pay attention to the signs.
2. REALLY ENJOY THE FOOD YOU ARE EATING. TAKE SMALL BITES AND TASTE ALL OF THE FLAVORS.
If you’re scarfing down food and eating fast, chances are you are not really enjoying it. Try to think about where the food you are eating came from and how it ended up on your plate. Think about the work put into bringing that food to you. It’s easy to take food for granted, it’s important to remember that food is fuel.
3. ENGAGE IN CONVERSATION WITH THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU.
A lot of times when people are at big gatherings, they become so immersed in the food around them, they tend to neglect the individuals. Instead of going right for the desserts or buffet table, enjoy the good energy while you engage in conversation.
4. BE HAPPY AND SATISFIED!
Don’t feel badly about eating a cookie or two… or three, you enjoyed them, didn’t you? And, if by chance you didn’t, then try to think back why not? Did you eat too quickly or were you not hungry? Life is a balancing act, if you restrict one thing that can cause a cascading downfall.
Lucille Balls says, “Love Yourself First and then everything else falls into line.”
Listen to your body; if you want something, eat it. Don’t beat yourself up about it.
The more confidence you have with your decisions, the more natural healthy habits become.
I’D LOVE TO HEAR IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:
- How do you build healthy habits (without depriving yourself)?
Rachel graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Nutrition: Dietetics. She is currently a Dietetic Intern at the College of Saint Elizabeth and a soon to be Registered Dietitian. She also provides nutrition counseling services at Parisi’s Sports Club. She is very excited to share her nutrition knowledge and educate people about the huge role it plays for the body.