I assume that you know the difference between healthy and unhealthy food. I always recommend my clients to eat colorfully, with a lot of variation, and smaller amounts of meat, meat products and store-bought juices. It’s the amount you eat that matters, so eat moderately. These are very basic healthy eating instructions (see the Healthy Eating Plate on the next page).
I also recommend you to only eat quality foods, to use good fat (olive oil), and that you try to avoid processed foods. And did you know? Quality food can also be a good bar of chocolate with only 70-90% cocoa) or a homemade cake with good ingredients and little sugar. Eat sugar, but use it sparingly; according to the British Medical Journal, “sugar is as dangerous as tobacco.” http://www.whfoods.com/
My philosophy is that you can eat anything you really like as long as the food is more or less high quality (colorful, not processed) and you are hungry.
This may surprise you, but I would say go ahead and eat a piece of cake for lunch – preferably homemade with high quality ingredients. To me, a piece of high quality cake you really enjoy is better than a handful of carrots that are low in calories, but will only leave you feeling hungry and unsatisfied.
Eat only what you like to eat!
Healthy food tastes good! Try out new recipes. Read about healthy food. What tastes best to you? It is important that you enjoy the food you eat. Find pleasure in nourishing your body in a delicious and healthy way.
If you are a Coke drinker, each one liter bottle contains about 35 sugar cubes/sachets. Can you even imagine sitting down and eating 35 sugar cubes at once?! Maybe you like Mars Bars – but Mars Bars are two-thirds sugar. And gummy bears contain 91.2 grams of sugar or approximately 30 sugar cubes/ sachets! Look for the hidden sugar in your food.
Do this exercise: Don’t think for a moment about a light blue elephant. Please, pull yourself together and stop thinking about the light blue elephant!
Is it possible for you not to think of the light blue elephant when I mention it? Of course not!
The same thing happens when you tell yourself not to think of brownies, chocolate or Coke. You will always think of them. The harder you try NOT to think of something, the more you will think of the food you don’t want to eat. You can’t change that with willpower.
You can control your conscious mind with willpower, but not your unconscious mind. All our feelings and habits are in the latter. The unconscious mind doesn’t hear the word NOT. It hears, “always eat chocolate” or “always drink Coke.” When you are stressed or tired, you don’t have the energy to resist the food you don’t want to eat.
And then you will find yourself thinking: “I’ve eaten the chocolate. I’ve failed again. There is the proof: I’m a failure. There is no point in trying anymore.”
Thus, it’s very important for me that you realize that you can eat anything you want – but you must not eat just anything. You always have the chance to choose. You are in control.
The chocolate will not eat you! If you remove the pressure, if you stop telling yourself that you cannot ever eat chocolate, then you will find it easier to distract yourself from thinking about it.
Chocolate is chocolate – it is not your enemy and it is not your friend. It’s just cocoa powder mixed with a lot of sugar and some other ingredients.
Eat when you are hungry! Make yourself a hunger scale: 1 being “totally hungry” and 10 being “totally satisfied.” You should eat when your hunger is between 3 and 4 on this scale and stop eating when your hunger is between 7 and 8. If you stop eating between 7 and 8, you will feel pleasantly full, but not bloated or stuffed like you would if you stopped at 10.
- How long do you think you can live without food?
You can live approximately 6 weeks without anything to eat.
- How long do you think you can live without drinking?
You can live about 3 days without anything to drink.
- How long do you think you can live without air?
You can live about 1 to 4 minutes without oxygen.
We have a very strong urge to satisfy immediate hunger. Think of the people in the Stone Age. They were secure only as a group, best inside their cave. Nature made the strong hunger urge into a survival mechanism: the feeling of hunger was so strong that Stone Age people would immediately go outside their cave.
They didn’t have supermarkets open all day long. They would sometimes have to hunt for weeks to find and bring home food. And the saber-toothed tiger was always waiting for them.
So, if you are a little bit hungry, then think about this: you will not starve if you do not eat at once. Drink a lot – plain water is best – and give your body a lot of oxygen; as often as possible, by breathing deeply into your belly.