So, you want to have your cake and eat it too? Same. And there is nothing wrong with that. In this blog, I’m going to discuss how to functionally and simply eat what you’d like while maintaining performance and aesthetic goals. Please note, I am not a certified nutritionist, and this is nutritional advice from a Personal Trainer.
From all my clients, and especially my pregnant clients, I hear a lot about food cravings. While people who are pregnant especially have cravings due to shifts in hormones, including women who are near or in their menstrual phase, everyone can have cravings. Sometimes people don’t even know why they crave certain foods. Men, I am also talking to you.
If you read my blog, Diets Don’t Work, you already know my take on nutrition, and it’s no surprise I’m discussing now how to eat everything responsibly. In that blog post, I shared how to eat complete meals using a portion guide. Here, I’m going to share how to eat the food you crave in addition to complete meals. These foods are usually surgery, salty, and fatty and don’t do much for our fitness performance or aesthetic. However, they do remind us of comforting times, may be gifted to us around a special occasion, or are wanted because they are straight up delicious.
Why would we completely cut this out of our lives? Oftentimes when we cut these foods out of our lives it is temporary and/or we develop negative emotional attachments to these foods, and call them bad and if we eat them we feel guilty or ashamed which may lead us to overeat or in some cases develop disordered eating around food in general.
If you are in alignment with eating foods you love that are highly processed along with complete meals, here are three pieces of advice you can follow to eat them responsibly. Part of eating what you want is also doing it responsibly. What I mean by this is being aware you are eating food you may not normally eat a lot of in your day to day and understand there are consequences. You may feel energy dips and digestive discomfort. It may be worth it, and thats fine!
1. When you have a craving. Don’t ignore it.
Instead of ignoring your cravings, buy or order the food, or a food similar to the food you crave to satisfy that craving. When you eat the food, sit down without distractions, and eat it slowly. Love that food. If you can, eat with a fork and a knife, on a plate, chew slowly, taste all the flavors, and feel all the textures.
2. Know how much to buy.
If you know you are going to want a certain sweet, fatty, or salty food, choose the best option and quantity. Only buy what you are able to eat at that moment and avoid over buying the craved food if you know you have a tendency to uncomfortably overeat. If eating food with a plate, fork and knife, cut food in half. After eating half ask yourself how you feel and get more if you want, save the rest for another time, or share with someone you love.
3. If you want to satisfy a craving, but are too ashamed of eating a pint of ice cream.
You can make ‘ice cream.’ If you have protein powder, just add about 1 cup of ice with ½ cup water to 1 or 2 scoops of protein powder and blend. If you want it thicker add less water or more ice. You can even add cocoa nibs and cinnamon for flavor and texture. This makes a thick ice cream-like texture that is very low calorie and tastes good.
4. Eat a complete meal and then the food you crave.
You can reference Diets Don’t Work for an example of portion sizes that make up a complete meal. Sometimes we crave certain foods when we’re lacking nutrients from certain food groups. For example, if we don't eat enough fats, we often crave sugar.
Consider all of these as possible options for having the food you’d like in a responsible way if you’re working on your nutrition and health goals. Also, you may end up overeating a food you crave. Give yourself the utmost grace after an instance and know that you have the chance to come back to your mindful eating the next day.
For Coaching support on fitness and lifestyle contact Brie at firstname.lastname@example.org
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