For some of us, learning to feed ourselves well is like learning a foreign language. First, you have to get rid of what you think you know. Then you have to completely relearn about food, nutrition and habits.
Eat food God made. Don’t eat food humans made.
My philosophy on eating well comes from the idea that you should eat what God made, what nature provides. You should not eat what humans made. Humans can’t improve on nature when it comes to health and nutrition. Sure, we can improve on an oreo by deep frying it (or so I’m told). But when it comes to the basics of fueling our human bodies, nature’s got us beat.
For example, nature provides the whole grain. But by the time it gets to us in the form of oatmeal, we’ve lost the most nutritious parts in processing. They cut it up and heat it so we lose the bran and germ most of the time. That means we lose most of the nutrition too! That’s just the way we humans do things, in this case with flour, oatmeal, bread and other grains.
Natural food comes with instruction manuals for your body (digestive enzymes, etc) on exactly how to break the food down, what to use, how to use and and how to get rid of the excess. Man made food is usually devoid of all of that, therefore making it really hard on your body.
That’s why I say stay away from foods made by humans as much as possible. We can’t improve nutritionally on nature. I’m not saying we can’t make it taste better by making it really unhealthy. But then we also get to be really unhealthy.
Eat when you’re hungry.
So much of the time we eat because it’s time to eat. Or we eat because food is around. But our human bodies were made to give us clues about when we should eat. Those stomach growls tell you when to eat. So listen for them. The catch is, when we eat crap food the digestion system goes into panic mode trying to figure out what to do with all that junk. How to break it down, how to process it, how to eliminate it. That’s a bit of havoc for your tummy so hunger signals might not process like normal. Stick to natural foods (most of the time) and that takes care of the issue. Eat when you’re hungry because you want to and because you enjoy eating. But don’t let food become the sole focus of the say or conversation. We humans have even better things to do. 😉
Don’t eat food made for three humans.
Portion sizes are a big problem as we all know. When you go out to eat or even when you eat things proportioned for you, odds are they’re going to be way over your particular caloric needs. Overeating isn’t the way to eat like a human. If we can get really in touch with our bodies, we’ll notice how it makes us feel unwell. Eat the right portions and you’ll be eating like a human!
Eating like a human is simpler.
Here’s the main reason I think we know that eating real food is the way to go is it really is more simple. I remember when I was trying to learn how to cook I’d look at all of these recipes and think, “Wow this is complicated.” The steps were many and the ingredients were too. These days, I chop up fruits and veggies. I grill, roast or saute them with EVOO, garlic, salt & pepper. The recipes are three steps entirely, and that’s with one step being heating the oven up.
Eating like a human is just a matter of having lots of real, whole foods available and around. A salad doesn’t even require cooking! You can simplify your budget, your palate, your pantry and your life by eating like a human.
Don’t eat food you hate.
God made food to be colorful, interesting and to smell good. Don’t settle for boring food you hate. Instead, what I have my clients do is go through this food list and choose their favorite foods. What natural foods do you most enjoy, which would you look forward to eating every week or every day? We make that list, then we make sure to stock the pantry and fridge with those foods so they’re always available. By choosing our favorite healthy foods, we don’t have to feel like we’re depriving ourselves.
No diet needed.
When we start eating the amount and the type of foods we’re naturally supposed to be eating (with a few fun treats here and there), you’ll find you don’t need to diet. The natural human condition is to be a healthy weight. If we focus on eating like a human, your body will naturally shed the excess because it can function properly and it recognizes it’s getting what it needs.
I coach my clients on nutrition using the 21 Day Fix. If you’d like help, message me and we can work together.