All Foods Can Fit


What does ‘healthy eating’ mean to you? Does it mean you have to give up all your favorite foods? Does it mean you will be eating ‘diet foods’ all the time? Does it mean deprivation?
The good news is: with some basic valid nutrition know-how and some ‘moving your body through space’ (otherwise known as physical activity or exercise), ALL foods can fit into a healthful eating pattern. And I do mean ALL!
Some ideas on how to accomplish this are:

•Set realistic goals. Small changes over a period of time are more likely to last and generally are easier to incorporate into our lives.
•Variety is essential for nutritional adequacy. Eat a wide variety of foods from each group in the Food Guide Pyramid.
Balance is critical! Choose enough daily servings from each food group. Any eating pattern that lacks balance will be unhealthy.
•Moderation means BE SENSIBLE! Any food can fit in a healthy eating pattern, just don’t overdo it. Eating should be enjoyable. So go ahead and have your favorite foods, just keep the amount and how often you eat them sensible.
•Be flexible. Don’t obsess about each and every item eaten. Instead look at your eating and physical activity over several days. Keep the big picture in mind!
•Avoid boredom & apathy. Keep it more interesting by experimenting with foods and activities that you haven’t tried before. Try different ethnic foods and/or look through cookbooks for taste sensations you may not have thought of before. Remember, out tastes often change over time, so something that you may not have liked years ago may actually be something that you would enjoy now. So give it a try!
•Move your body through space. Walk the dog, don’t just watch the dog walk! Park your car a little further away and walk rather than driving around looking for the closest space! Again, small changes are more lasting.
•Accept that there are no miracle cures or quick fixes for poor eating habits.It takes work, patience, and commitment. The benefits from eating healthy are both immediate and long term. You will start to feel better quickly and you may live longer and/or lower your risk for disease.
•Healthy food choices can be found just about everywhere. More than 15,000 new food products arrive on supermarket shelves every year and restaurants are also expanding their offerings. Check the Nutrition Facts panel on food labels to make healthier choices. At restaurants, ask questions on how items are prepared and don’t be afraid to ask for other alternatives. For example, one of our favorite restaurants always serve their vegetables with a sauce on them but we just asked for them to be served plain. They were very obliging and we enjoyed our meal even more (which of course means more future business for them).
•Avoid creating feeling of deprivation. Deprivation leads to rebound binging that often makes us more unhealthy than if we just allowed ourselves to have those foods in more limited amounts. Feeling of deprivation can occur even when you are consuming enough calories. Deprivation often starts when we tell ourselves, or someone else (like a diet plan) tells us, that we can’t or shouldn’t have a particular food. Human nature means that we will want it even more and we will eventually eat it! To avoid deprivation, never say never.
Once we start changing the old belief system from “good foods” and “bad foods” to all foods can fit, we will have made significant progress towards developing a healthier relationship with our food.

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