I am in no way qualified to instruct others how to have proper diet. But I do have some basic eating practices that have served me well, and I have no doubt they will serve others well too. These are just three basic practices I use as guidelines when it comes to my eating rituals. They are as follows:
1) Lose the food commitment
One habit we should break, that I have seen much more in men than women, is this unnecessary commitment to a piece of food people make. Men don’t commit to much, but for some reason we believe that there is this unwritten rule that once you bite into, or purchase a food item, we must consume the entire thing. On the other side of that coin, there are many times when I have heard a woman say “I only want half a cookie. Someone else can have the other half, or I am just going to trash it.” I have yet to hear a man say anything like this.
When we purchase and/or begin eating a food item, the only commitment we have, is to use this food item to satisfy our hunger or craving. Once our hunger/craving is satisfied ……. done …over. Whatever is remaining of the food item is not longer necessary. Dispose of it. What are we so committed to? Getting our moneys worth? That’s just ridiculous. We spent the money to get the satisfaction we needed …… nothing more. Once the satisfaction is had, we got our moneys worth. If we still feel bad about wasting the food after we spent so much money on it, wrap it up and consume it later when we get hungry again.
I recall once not too long ago I had a craving for a M&M’s completely out of the blue (this seldom happens). I don’t keep any snack food around the home so I went out for it. Unfortunately the store only had a big bag of them (like 16oz). So I purchased the bag for $4.99 (I’m guessing here). I had myself two handfuls of them, and by the second handful I realized that this handful did not satisfy as much as the first. In fact I paused long enough to realize that my M&M craving was gone. So I just dumped the reminder of the M&M’s. They never left the grocery store, but it was sooo worth the $4.99 (Or whatever it cost).
Satisfy our hunger. Hell, even satisfy our cravings. Just be mindful of when this satisfaction has been had. Also keep in mind that there is no bite of a delicious food that is more pleasing than the first bite.
2) Eat slowly.
In the hustle and bustle of this consumerist world where all of us are always in a hurry, it seems we have gotten into the habit of sucking chow (military term for eating quickly). We aren’t even allowing our self the time to taste the food we wanted so badly. It is no wonder why the first few bites were not enough to satisfy; the first few bites barely happened.
If we truly want to enjoy our food we must be in the moment with our food and saver it. Eat slowly. Our mind should only be on the tastes and textures in our mouth. Then, only then, are we really getting our full value out of it.
Also, It is only when we pace ourselves in our eating that we allow our bodies to “catch up” so we can better gauge our hunger status. Most times, we are eating so fast that we reach the satisfactory quantity of food long before our bodies tell us that they are satisfied. Then, by the time our bodies DO catch up, we have overstuffed ourselves. We went from “satisfied” to “FULL.” Now we have eaten TOO MUCH. Among other reasons why this is a bad thing, remember that this “raises the ceiling” of what our bodies consider satisfactory for the next time we eat.
3) Three meals a day? Really?
I don’t know when this rule was created, and I don’t care. Scrap it. Instead, how about this: If we are hungry, eat. If we are not hungry, don’t eat. Simple, and strait forward. We should be listening to our bodies. Our bodies know better than we do, what we need. Always keep food close and ready for consumption, just in case hunger strikes randomly (and it does). Eating when we are not hungry just because it’s the designated meal time is just excess.
With these three practices, we get much more value out of our food, even if we are not eating as much of it.