Being healthy and losing weight are often associated with negative attitudes toward food. If you want to avoid being overweight, it is only natural to think of food as the enemy. But it does not have to be this way. In fact, one could argue that overeating results from an insufficient appreciation for what is great about healthy, nourishing foods. And when one develops a stronger appreciation for foods that are genuinely healthy, the tendency is not to eat more but rather to better appreciate what one eats. Think of it this way: What if you could feel absolutely satisfied and even ecstatic about what you eat without ever overdoing it? This is not a fantasy; it is possible if you keep a few important tips in mind.
1. Make your main meal of the day an event: Instead of thinking of eating as a diffuse thing that you do throughout the day, focus the bulk of your food-related energy on a single meal every day. Of course, you will have other smaller meals and even some snacks, but think of this one daily meal as the main event. Make it healthy, but also make sure it is substantial enough so that you can enjoy it and feel satisfied.
2. Turn off distractions: We usually do not think of food as a form of entertainment, but believe it or not, a good meal is all you need to occupy your mind. While you are eating your main meal of the day, turn off all distractions. Shut off the TV and radio, close your computer, and set your phone aside for the time being. Make an effort to focus on your food, giving it the enjoyment it deserves.
3. Eat slowly: Give yourself plenty of time not only to prepare your meal but also to give it the enjoyment it deserves. Think of it this way: You put much thought and care into your meals, so why should you just scarf your food down, barely paying attention to how it tastes? Instead, make good food, and take the time to appreciate how good it is.
4. Know the meaning of your food: You do not have to overintellectualize your food. Good food is good food, and there is no reason to make it much more complicated. Still, if you have an appreciation for the food on your plate—where it comes from, its history, its nutritional value, and its relation to the world and to other foods—then your eating experience will only be more enjoyable. Love your food for what it means, not just for how it tastes.
5. Try new things: When it comes to food, it is too easy to get trapped in routine. Sure, having a few meals that are easy and familiar makes life much easier, and there is nothing wrong with having some standby meals that you go to when you do not have time to be adventurous. But when you do have time, always make an effort to expand your horizons. Try new recipes, new types of cuisines, and even new ingredients that you are not familiar with. Think of it as an adventure. As long as a dish is healthy, there is always an upside, even if you never make that dish a second time.
By Jamell Andrews