What kind of food makes you happy? Do certain foods give you that warm, fuzzy feeling because they are associated with home and family? Do you enjoy spicy food, party food or sweets because they represent a celebration? For some people, ‘Fast Food’ represents a treat or reward because it was used that way as they grew up.
It’s important to understand the feelings you have in relation to food if you want to create a balanced and healthy diet. Kale and broccoli are very nutritious but if you really don’t like them you shouldn’t have to force yourself to eat them. At the same time, it’s good to explore new tastes and food experiences to discover the wide variety that’s available.
Love What You Eat
Everyone has some type of relationship with food, and like most relationships, there’s probably room for improvement. If you need to lose weight or lower your blood sugar but you struggle with ‘diets’, it may be because you associate that word with having to give up your favorite foods. You can create your own diet instead, using your favorite foods as a base. Try this method:
- Make a list of your favorite foods
- Divide the list into higher nutrition and lower nutrition categories
- Add to these two categories all the other foods you usually eat, are willing to eat, or want to try
- Look for recipes that include most of your higher nutrition list and less of your lower nutrition list
- The next time you go shopping focus on buying from your higher nutrition list and reducing the amount of lower nutrition food you consume
The word ‘diet’ refers to your regular food intake, whatever you normally eat, or what you need to eat to sustain life. Too often, this word is used in a negative sense referring to food restrictions, “I’m on a diet”. However, everyone is always on a diet regardless of the amount or type of food eaten.
Create Healthy Habits
Just as we have a misperception about the word ‘diet’, we also have a misperception about what is ‘normal’ in terms of the amount and types of food we eat. Our eating habits from birth are influenced by the standards in the family and culture we grow up in. Nothing is really ‘normal’, it’s all just habits and traditions. The method above can help you create healthier eating habits without completely sacrificing the foods you love.
Remember that you can use SUGARDOWN® to block up to 40% of the unwanted carbohydrates and keep an occasional treat in your diet. SUGARDOWN® can be a useful tool in helping to reduce the amount of high carb food you eat. See 3 Easy Steps and How It Works to learn more about including SUGARDOWN® in your Happy and Healthy Diet Plan.
Use this list to help you divide your normal diet into higher nutrition and lower nutrition categories.
|Higher Nutrition Food (HN)||Lower Nutrition Food (LN)|
|All Vegetables, especially the less starchy types||Processed and packaged food such as breads, pasta, crackers, chips, snack foods|
|All Fruit, especially lower glycemic fruits and berries||High sugar food such as cookies, cakes, candy, ice cream, pastries, etc.|
|Unprocessed whole grains like oats, brown rice, quinoa and other ancient grains||High carb food such as white rice and white potatoes|
|Lean protein sources such as fish, chicken, lean beef and legumes||Fast Food restaurant|