While it would be nice always to eat like this, the reality is that we can’t without feeling the consequences to our health and our waistline. Healthy eating is essential to our overall health, but dieting can seem a bit unmasculine. That why you need these helpful, healthy eating tips that don’t involve the dreaded diet.
Eat when you’re hungry
Well, ok you’re thinking doesn’t everyone eat when they are hungry? Well yes, but people often eat for a lot of other reasons as well. Emotional eating can affect men as well as women and can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food and a significant weight gain. If you find yourself reaching for some chips or candy when you are stressed or angry, then you might be an emotion eater.
It’s not easy to break the pattern of emotional eating once it’s set in, but being more aware of your body’s hunger signals can help. It’s best to eat when you are at a 3 or 4 on a scale of 10. At 1 or 2 you will be too hungry and will eat too much. At 9 or 10 you are already uncomfortably full from eating so you don’t need to add to that. Practice eating in response only to your body’s signal for hunger should lead you to eat in a healthier way.
Some people find that they need additional help with emotional eating. CBT, which helps your reframe the psychological process that is happening when you eat, can be useful. Exercise is helpful too as it provides you with a way to healthy expresses your feelings, so you don’t have to resort to food.
Stop when you’re full
Another great tip for eating more healthy is to eat what you like, but stop when you are full. How many of us grew up with our families saying: “No dessert until you have finished everything on your plate?” We have been raised to ignore our feelings of hunger and satisfaction and just eat everything that is put in front of us. This is not a good idea because you can end up eating way over the portion sizes that your body needs. It also means that you never get in touch with your body’s signals so you will never know when you are full.
Practice mindful eating, and when you get to a 5-6 on the scale of fullness stop. You can always put the rest of what you are eating in the fridge for later. Just don’t keep shoving food in when your body is saying it doesn’t need it.
Another fantastic tip for avoiding diets is the 80-20 way. For this, you eat healthy for 80% of the time and treat yourself for 20%. This works well for men in particular. It’s because it allows them, to go out and have a few beers after work with the guys, and a slice of pizza and some chicken wings, without having to feel guilty. You don’t have to give up the enjoyable experiences of life to keep to a healthy eating programme with this regime.
Cut out carbs
The next tip to cut out carbs. There are two ways of doing this. You can completely cut them out of your diet and just go for vegetables and protein. Or you can limit the amount of carb you have. You could just eat carbs in the day, so your body has a chance to metabolise them and use up the energy they consume. Or you could just choose to eat unprocessed carbohydrates like couscous and wild rice. These cause less of a sugar rush than things with sugar and white flour in, so don’t affect your body in the same way.
Eat whole foods
A good way of steering clear of diets is to eat whole foods. Whole food are items that are grown or made from grown and unprocessed ingredients. This is a very unrestrictive and nourishing way of eating. You only have to avoid processed stuff, so it’s pretty easy to make your normal meals with a few tweak. To find out more about what you can eat go here for some info.
An essential tip for eating well is to replace your daily snacks with healthier options like raw vegetables, celery or some unsalted nuts. If you usually have a cookie or two with your coffee, you’ll be glad to know that you can even get some treats that are healthy now. You can purchase them from companies like Hampton Creek, who use whole ingredients in their cookies and dough. Pop over and read their story on their Facebook to get some more info on their products.
Get a smaller plate
One of the best ways to keep healthy without resorting to calorie counting or dieting is to just get smaller plates. Easy right? Replace those massive dinner plates with a lunch plate size. Eat the same meals, but you will instantly be consuming less. But the trick is, it won’t seem like less because you will still have a plate full in front of you. This is a minimal change that can lead to maximal results, and the best thing is no one around your will notice either.
Ok, this probably doesn’t sound the healthiest option, aren’t we meant to avoid full-fat dairy if we are watching what we eat? Well, this idea comes from the French. Who are know to be able to keep svelte figures, despite eating bread and pastries and other food traditionally thought of as fattening. The concept is that because they eat high-fat foods, they never get as hungry as someone on a low-fat diet. Because of this, their bodies don’t feel the need to store any fat that comes its way, so fat is burnt off more efficiently. It also means that the French feel fuller when they sit down to eat and therefore they eat less and so do not have as many issues with their weight. You can recreate this by having a cube of full-fat cheese about 30 mins before your meals.
Don’t have candy in the house
If you have a sweet tooth, the best thing may be not to buy candy and keep it in the house or your desk at work. Unless you have incredible willpower, if you’re hungry you’ll tend to eat what is to hand and worry about its nutritional value later. By removing temptation, you are much more likely to make a health choice. Let’s be honest it’s much easier just to eat what’s in front of us than go out especially for some chocolate or chips. It does mean you can’t have these things occasionally, but they are not always there for your to binge on. Just cutting out this sort of food from your diet can make a massive impact on your weight, sodium and cholesterol levels.
Drink water before every meal
It sounds like a bit of an old wive’s tale but drinking a glass of water before every meal to eat helps you to reach that full sensation quicker. That means you are eating less of what’s on your plate. Also, it’s easy to mistakes the body’s thirsty signal for hunger so make sure you are well hydrated throughout the day.
Finally, another way of eating healthier is the fasting approach. There is a lot of talk about the health benefits of fasting such as living longer, being slimmer, and having lower cholesterol. But can you make it work for you?
There are a few different way of doing it, and you have to find the one that fits in with how your live your life the best. The first way is the 5:2 fast. This is when you regularly eat five days of the week, but radically reduce the number of calories you consume on two of the days. Now if you are prone to getting hungry/angry or ‘hangry’, I’m not sure how you will feel about this. You can still eat on your fast days, but only stuff likes soups or Frittatas. You will need to count calories on your fast days, which is getting suspiciously into diet territory.
If the 5:2 isn’t for you, you could give intermittent fasting a go. This is when you have a set few hours in the day that you can eat. You fast for the rest of the time. It’s easiest when you set your hours to cover lunch and dinner. So from 1 -7 pm. Then most of your fast time is when you’re asleep in bed. You also get the benefit of missing just one meal – breakfast, and you can eat what you like for the other two meals. You’ll lose weight because by eating fewer meals it’s easier to get into the calorie deficit that you need to shed the pounds. But be careful, if you go for a burger and fries at every meal, you will be cancelling your good work, so you do need to be sensible with it.