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Healthy Eating Basics

Many of us feel we consume a healthy diet, although possibly ignore some of the hidden areas that we place in the ‘denial’ section of our mind shall we say. For starters (pardon the pun ) we are generally programmed to eat more food in one meal than we really should. You must remember as a child having your Mum or Dad telling you that you must finish your meal to grow big and strong, eating your carrots so you can see better and vegetables to give you hair on your chest. Although the last one may not apply to all you ladies, well let’s hope not. ha ha! You were possibly given an incentive to finish your plate such as sweets or desert. And while this would have seemed harmless as a child as it was an act of love and wishing for you to be healthy. It actually was forming a negative behaviour or habit to eat more than you really should. Unfortunately, we are the product of our childhood or what I like to call ‘The unfinished business of childhood’ which goes into many other areas that I will have to cover in another blog.

Your blueprint for eating habits would have been written as a child so you can blame your parents for that. It is not all bad news though as us humans are particularly good at adapting, although this will take some conscious thought before it becomes sub-conscious or automatic. Ask yourself this, when you get to the end of your meal do you feel full? Do you feel tired and sluggish? Do you have to undo your belt slightly and give out a big satisfied sigh? If the answer is yes then you could possibly be over eating and again it is not your fault, but what you are programmed to do. You may have also heard of the phrase ‘little and often’ and in the western world we seemed to have got this quite wrong. Our metabolism is fastest in the morning and slows down as the day progresses. Ultimately this means we should have the larger meals in the morning hence why it’s common to hear that breakfast is the most important meal of the day as we have fasted for 8 – 10 hours But also our metabolism is running like a Gerbil that’s had a double espresso. By the end of the day when our resting metabolic rate is slowest, we should indeed have the smaller meals but we all know that in reality this is definitely not the case and have a big meal with our metabolism struggling to keep up. ‘Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper’ is another great saying and so very true reflecting exactly what I have just described to a tee.

Eat slowly… We have things called ‘satiation centers’ within our brain that tell us when we are satisfied. Thus, when we eat too fast is a bit like jumping in front of a speeding car and shouting stop! Obviously, the car would over-shoot the mark which is exactly what you would do when your brain has told you that you have had enough. Eat slower and this will give your brain time to let you know when you are satisfied. And this is the conscious thought on your part as you will need to recognise this feeling so you know when you have had enough food for your body. It will feel strange at first of course, as you won’t have the ‘over full’ feeling that you are used too. But give it twenty minutes or so and you’ll feel fine, more sprightly and more importantly your body will have just the right amount of food at that particular time. Remember, excess food needs to be stored as energy or fuel so the fat cells are an ideal place, but this is not what we want is it?

Drinking enough water per day? How much is enough I hear you say? At least two litres or 8 glasses but I prefer the two litres measure as bottled water is cheap enough so if you finish a bottle in a day then you’re drinking enough, but be sure to add to this if you are exercising as this is the basic requirement. Water also helps with weight loss as it assists in the transportation of fats, aids as an appetite suppressant and more importantly our body needs water as this makes up 80% of the human body. It runs through our blood stream in the form of blood plasma, it’s between our cells within the body and regulates body temperature. But it also keeps you hydrated, keeps your skin young and fresh while also flushing your kidney’s through so very very good for you.

To summarise:

1. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince & dinner like a pauper.

2. Eat until you are comfortable and not over full, so listen to your body.

3. Eat slowly to allow your body time to tell you have had enough.

4. Drink at least 2 litres of water a day. :) 02.11.2016


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