Often working with people, I regularly hear people talking about needing to eat special types of foods – be it “healthy”, organic, natural, low-fat, low cholesterol, low calorie, the list goes on and on.
If you are someone who eats and drinks foods you think you “should” be consuming, how do you feel after eating those foods? Do you enjoy the process, savour the foods, and leave a meal satisfied? Or do you leave the meal with a craving or yearning for something you haven’t consumed?
Studies show that people who self-regulate their intake and enjoy their meals tend to eat less overall. Some people may have heard of the fat-free craze that happened in the 80’s and 90’s in the U.S. This has been pointed to by many for the start of the weight issues in the U.S. What happened? Fat was seen as the culprit for weight gain and everyone started eating fat-free products. This resulted in products being modified to low-fat, but sugars were added to replace the fat in products and people ate more of an item to be satisfied, thus, more calories were consumed.
How do you avoid this? You consume foods and drinks that you enjoy and not label any food. If you consume a soda, or eat cake, eat the flavour and type you want. Do not consume diet or zero calorie sodas or eat fat free pastries. You may only eat half or a quarter of a piece or cup, but are satisfied with that. Try to stop categorizing foods and start thinking of what will make you happy so you can leave the table satisfied. Eating is not something we can avoid, but we can enjoy the process and savour our food. By being good role-models, children often learn these habits as well and learn to enjoy meals and savour the food the eat.