I spoke about healthy eating at our “Just for the Health of It” day recently in-store, and many have asked me to write about this workshop.
According to Healthy Together Geelong, 56% of adults in Geelong are overweight; “95% don’t eat enough vegetables; 58% don’t eat enough fruit; nearly one quarter smoke and 22,400 adults in Geelong experience high levels of psychological distress including feeling nervous, hopeless, restless, sad and worthless”.
My passion is to address the way we are living and address why we have become so unhealthy. It’s got to be more than just having information and knowledge because we are bombarded with so many health messages from so many different sources
I think we need to be looking at why we are living the way we do and implementing small changes – changes we can all implement into our very busy days to help us live better.
There’s a lot of information and misinformation out there about what we should be eating. There are lots of diets that profess amazing results. Most people have heard of paleo, raw, high protein/low carb, 5/2 intermittent diet.
However this is not about the latest “diets”. Because we all know diets are about willpower. They set us up to fail because our willpower is finite. We feel deprived when we are on a diet which often results in bingeing and consequently self-loathing. There can also be long-term health consequences when ommitting whole food groups.
This Is About How We Eat Every Single Day To Live Well And Age Well
And it’s Not about just WHAT we eat but HOW we eat. This week I’ll look at how we eat and the impact on our health and next week I’ll explore what we should be eating for lifelong health.
How We Eat
a) Are you eating Mindfully or Mindlessly?
Who eats at their desk? Checking emails? Checking your phone? Watching television? Reading? On the run? In the car between appointments or meetings?
Leptin and ghrelin are two of our hormones responsible for signalling the brain when we are full and when we are hungry. Leptin alerts the brain when we are full and to stop eating, whereas ghrelin will alert the brain when we are hungry and to start eating.
Mindless Eating is one of the reasons we are not recognising and listening to these hormone signals so we risk to overeating even when we are not technically hungry.
Have you ever been so absorbed in the newspaper or the TV that you haven’t even realised you have finished your meal?
When we are eating mindlessly we are prone to overeating! So this week I challenge you to be mindful when you eat your meals. When it is time to eat your breakfast or lunch or dinner I challenge you to just eat your meal and do nothing else – no reading, no watching television, no phone, no computer.
There is something to be said about a shared meal. The table is set, family and friends gather and a meal is eaten together and there are no other distractions.
2. How Much We Eat
Our Portion Sizes have become a lot larger over the years… and so have our plates.
The things is we tend to fill a dinner plate with food no matter how large it is. This is a subconscious practice as we want to ensure we are feeding ourselves and our family sufficiently. However it could well be one reason why we are overeating.
My advice is to invest in a smaller sized crockery set. This is a very simple way to reduce portion sizes.
3. How often We Eat
Eating regularly helps maintain a healthy metabolism. Metabolism is what is burning your calories for energy to function, to think, to move, to digest food etc.
Diets restrict calories so your body goes into a ‘protective mode’. Your metabolism reduces and becomes very efficient with those calories because it’s worried it won’t get enough food.
So eating regularly throughout the day is important to maintain metabolism. Eating regularly also stabilizes blood sugar.
Stabilizing blood sugar is a big issue at the moment because if it remains unstable over a long period of time we are predisposed to metabolic disorders and type 2 diabetes.
When we eat processed food or highly refined flours, pastas, sugars (eg. muffins, cakes, biscuits, soft drink, lollies, desserts) it will spike our blood glucose level.
The problem is the higher it is spiked the lower it will drop. It’s a bit like a pendulum. And a drop in blood sugar is often experienced as “the afternoon slump” – no energy, foggy head, lethargic, and some people even experience a shaky feeling. So we desperately seek a hit to get us out of the slump. We seek out food with high sugar and high caffeine because these foods are stimulating. They will quickly spike our blood sugar again and the cycle continues.
The aim is to stabilise blood sugar. Instead of using high-sugar foods that will generate large highs and consequently lows, the following tips will stabilise blood sugar with gentle peaks and troughs so you maintain energy and vitality throughout your day:
1. Eat whole foods
2. Eat protein and good fats with every meal
3. Eat regularly
Because It’s Not A Rehearsal
©2015 Live Better Naturally Pty