What I Think About Dieting. I get questions all the time about what I do and what I would recommend. Here are my thoughts on having a healthy relationship with food and loving your body.
First off, I’m not a dietician. I’m a woman, mother and wife. I’m a regular person just like you with no formal nutrition education. I get questions all the time and diets (or changing how you eat and exercise) are such a big thing in the new year so I wanted to say and share a few things.
Life in 2020
After a year like 2020, I’m sure we all ate or drank our feelings and did what we needed to do just to survive. More carbs than usual, more sweets and cookies than usual, more drinking and wine and alcohol. Now, I’m not a “new year, new me” kinda gal but I guess the new year has us all thinking about goals and bettering ourselves and thinking about the way we eat and look at food. This is something I am on board with.
What I Think About Dieting
As a food blogger, I am surrounded by food all the time. I am online, looking at food and recipes, reading books and watching cooking and food on TV. Food is a big part of my world, work and who I am. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’m not trying to be someone I am not. I am not healthy/eating salads 24/7.
For me: it’s more about portion size and balance. I still eat cookies, ice cream and cake. When I want a few bites of a donut, I’ll eat the donut. I believe in not denying yourself but also not indulging too much. For example, eat the donut but not 3.
Eat salads, greens and vegetables. Eat a balanced meal as often as you can. What does that mean? For dinner, I always try to have a carb, protein and vegetables on my plate. In the mornings, I incorporate fruits. That might mean I have a slice of pizza for lunch and that’s ok.
What I Think About Dieting
If you over eat or eat fast food or something bad, don’t punish yourself. I admit it, sometimes, I am an emotional eater. I know for sure I was an emotional eater during those first few months in quarantine. Do I have it all figured out? No way, not at all. I love food and eating and over the years, I have learned to love myself and my body. Do I love my body all the time? No. I think this is a big part of people’s relationship with food: how we view ourselves and treat ourselves.
For me, it’s not about dieting, or following a certain type of “clean eating meal plan” or losing weight. I think it’s about balance, portion control and gaining confidence and energy and strength. Please understand I am trying to preach anything here; just sharing my thoughts on this subject because many people have asked me.
The Guidelines I Tend To Follow
- Eating a balanced meal as often as possible
- Drink a lot of water; I don’t really drink soda or juice
- Portion control: the main portion of what I eat is the size of the palm of my hand*
- Exercise, exercise, exercise! Anything where you can be active.
- Don’t deny yourself sweets but don’t go overboard
- Enjoy snacks in between meals if you are hungry (more on this below)
Image Source: Precisionnutrition.com
Portion control is a huge thing for me personally because of the way I feel after I over eat. If there’s a feeling that I hate, it’s when I’m full or have eaten too much. We all know that feeling. I know this feeling very well. That’s why I started following this general rule: at meal time, for my main portion, only eating what fits in the palm of my hand. Sometimes, that’s all I will eat: what fits in the palm of my hand. This is what has worked for me. I don’t do this all the time but this is what I generally do. Google this if you don’t know what it is. I’m not going to link this entire article because I don’t believe in following everything they have outlined here. I think it’s too restricting but you may like it, so just look up “using your hand for portion control.”
I do want to say this: for food photography, I do show more in a portion shot to make the food look good for styling or to make the food look more enticing. Maybe I should stop this and show you the portion size I am really eating. If you want to see this, let me know in a comment below.
“Grazing” And What I Do For Snacks
For some people, grazing works. Grazing just means eating small meals throughout the day. “Instead of the traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner with added snacks, some people follow the “grazing” method of dining: eating small meals throughout the day. “Grazing gives your body a chance to digest completely while also helping you feel full and satiated longer.” I don’t know if this is a good thing or not, I am simply sharing this information. I do find that now that I am home more, (and will probably be like this for another several months into the summer – because we are still social distancing in 2021) I am snacking more.
We are all home. The kids are still going to school virtually so I wanted to share what we do for snacks.
- Fruits and raw veggies
- Chips but not too much: I do buy veggie chips, pita chips and pretzels + hummus
- Celery or apples + peanut butter or any nut butter
- Roasted seaweed snacks
- Apple sauce