Saturday, September 19, 2009

Intuitive Nutrition: the universal key to healthy weight for life. Part 5. Freedom of food choices.

Let’s talk about each principle of intuitive nutrition separately.

Principle #1. Freedom of food choices. This is one of the major advantages over many commercial diets. Lobster bisque? A steak with mashed potatoes? A piece of chocolate? A slice of a cake? Ice cream? Why not if you eat according to the hunger scale, using your own body as the best regulatory tool?!

Please eat whatever you want, the choice is yours. But… eat only a LITTLE (remember portion control principle), only when HUNGRY (“grey zone” of the hunger scale), and always SLOWLY, and STOP when not hungry anymore (“grey zone”).
 There is a caveat, though: when making food choices, keep in mind variety and reasonable balance. What I mean by that? Let’s say you love pizza and decide to make pizza your food of choice (we are FREE in our food choices, right), so you will eat a slice of pizza for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and will snack on pizza bites between meals. Sure as long as you keep you calorie count and portion control in check, you will lose weight on this wonderful pizza diet of your choice. But besides weight loss, how are we going to make sure that your body gets all necessary for its function nutrients, vitamins, and minerals? That your digestive system keeps functioning properly? That your blood vessels stay free of harmful plaque? The key to assure all of the above is… variety, balance. Have your slice of double cheese and pepperoni pizza (only one and very slowly!!!) for lunch, and for the rest of the day nibble on veggies, fruits, nuts, yogurt, crackers. Have a steak for dinner (only small and slowly!!!), and the next day outbalance it with a healthy breakfast of whole-bran cereal, low fat milk and a fruit, and a big salad for lunch. Try to substitute meat with fish, seafood, or legumes whenever possible. Play around with soups, eggplant, lentils, beans, vegetable. Use oils in favor of butter. Through in salad whenever possible (can add a hard boiled egg, a ½ can of water-based tuna fish, a potato, corn, lemon juice; sprinkle with nuts, sesame or sunflower seeds). Be creative and inventive. Broil, bake, sauté, or boil instead of frying. The keyword for nuts/seeds is “sprinkle”. Use as little as possible (or skip altogether): salt, sugar, butter, margarine, artificial sweeteners. This may sound like a certain violation of freedom of food choice principle when I say: try to avoid such and such things. But it really is not: you can have them, but… as little as possible. What is the reason to avoid these specific foods? Salt retains water and causes high blood pressure (who needs that?), butter, margarine, and refined sugars pack tons of calories without giving much of nutritional benefits. Artificial sweeteners, according to some research, increase craving for high-calorie foods.

That’s all about freedom of food choices. There is no need to use fat-free or low-fat foods, as long as you pay attention to calorie count and portion control. Have a real thing, but don’t gulp it. Enjoy it SLOWLY so there is a PROCESS!

Next post will be about portion control.
Keep reading!


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