Are you what you eat?

Have we lost all control?

I don’t know about you, but I feel like any control I did have (or at least felt like I had), has been lost. I am a planner and usually our schedule is booked a month out at a time. Lately, I’m lucky if I know what the plan is tomorrow. When I was a personal trainer, I found myself saying often to my clients, “There is so much in life that we can’t control, let’s control what we can.”

Believe it or not, no matter how crazy and unknown the world feels right now, there is actually a lot we can control.

We can control what goes into our mouth.

Last week I promised that I would talk about ways we can thrive physically in this time of uncertainty. We are going to start off by talking about what we eat.

Are you what you eat?

There is a lot of truth in the saying “We are what we eat.” What we eat either positively or negatively affects our short term energy and our long term health. Most people that I know, myself included, don’t have a great relationship with food. I have known many people over the years that restrict what they eat because it gives them a sense of control. I have known many others that overeat not because they are hungry, but because of a certain emotion like boredom, loneliness or grief. I could probably write a whole series on people’s emotional connection with food, but we will save that for another time. 

Today we are going to get practical. 

Over the years as a personal trainer I have picked up some helpful tips. Whether you want to lose weight, maintain weight or even gain – hopefully these tips will help you develop a more healthy relationship with food. 

10 ways to have a more healthy relationship with food.

  1. For one week, write down EVERYTHING that goes into your mouth. Keep a small note pad on your desk or in your purse. Or keep a note open on your phone so you can write down what you eat right away. If you don’t write it down right away, you won’t write it down. Trust me. DON’T OMIT ANYTHING, no one is going to read it but you. After the week is over, look it over. Honestly, most people are surprised how much they actually eat and drink in a week. Based on what you see, ask yourself “Are there any changes you should make?”
  1. Remember that it is okay to be hungry. Our bodies adapt to our weight and signal us to eat (through hunger) in order to maintain our current weight. As Americans, we tend to be afraid to be hungry. If you have recently eaten and have eaten enough, yet still feel hungry, let yourself be hungry. You will be okay. I promise. It’s okay to be hungry. It doesn’t take long for your body to adjust. Before you know it those hunger pangs will be a thing of the past.
  1. Remember sometimes when you feel hungry, you could just be thirsty. Outside of meal times, if you feel hungry, drink a glass of water and wait 20 minutes. Then, if you are still hungry, grab a healthy snack to eat. 
  1. Instead of focusing on getting rid of certain foods, focus on adding more fruits and vegetables. Aim for 5-8 servings of fruits and vegetables a day (It’s easier than you think, half of a banana is a serving. The internet is full of serving size charts). Having that being your goal will switch your mindset from dieting to healthy eating.
  1. When you find yourself eating outside of mealtimes, ask yourself – “Why am I eating this?” All of us emotionally eat. It starts at a young age. I am currently trying to teach my 12 year old daughter about emotional eating.  Are you eating because you are bored? Sad? Mad? Overwhelmed? Ask yourself, Are those good reasons to be eating?
  1. Make your calories count. I don’t really like cake, so I don’t usually eat it. Don’t eat something just because it is in front of you or because it is offered to you. Before you eat a treat, ask yourself, is this worth the calories? Most of the time when I am out I pass on dessert. I do that not because I won’t have dessert, but because I would rather save my calories for a better dessert later.
  1. Remember that liquid calories count. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but special coffee drinks have A LOT of calories in them. Alcohol does too. I have known people to lose a significant amount of weight by just giving up their daily lattes or cutting back on their alcohol intake. 
  1. Just because you make one bad eating decision, doesn’t mean you have to have a bad eating day. In so many areas of our lives when we mess up or make a bad decision, we tend to throw in the towel and give up for the day. One bad decision doesn’t have to equal a bad day. If you mess up and eat too many chips, pause and commit to making a better decision at dinner. 
  1. If you are the praying type, pray for self control. One of the fruits of the spirit is self control. Pray that God will help you make wise decisions about what you eat. 
  1. Remind yourself why it matters in the first place. It matters what we eat because our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. It matters because when we take care of ourselves we can fully walk out God’s calling on our life. 

Next week I will share a few more practical tips about how we can take care of our body – stay tuned!

Because there is more,


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