This is a sponsored post on behalf of LinkVehicle. All opinions are my own.
Fad diets? No thank you. Instead try these few tips for mindful eating so that you can enjoying food with less guilt.
Gluten-Free. Paleo. 21 Day Fix. Wheat Belly. Juice Cleanse. Vegan-Raw. Let’s be honest – Atkins may be sooo 2000’s, but diet plans haven’t gone anywhere. The only thing that hasn’t changed? I haven’t participated.
It’s not that I don’t see the value in some of them. I’m sure you cross-fitting Paleo fiends are rocking it! I, however, just don’t have the willpower to “just say no” to an occasional beer or carbohydrate. Ya know?
And juicing? For the birds. I simply cannot survive on juice (with kale in it!!!) alone. I can only imagine the level of hangry that’ll take me to.
Instead, I’ve adopted my own version of a diet/meal plan. I hate the word diet. To me, it seems so temporary. A quick fix for losing weight. Rather, I like the idea of eating purposefully. Recognizing why I’m eating, what’s in the food I’m eating, and making sure that what I do eat, I enjoy.
I’d like to call it mindful eating, and here are a few best practices that I’ve picked up along the way from a variety of sources.
1) Cook foods without labels! I once heard someone say that you don’t have to calorie count if the food you eat doesn’t have a label. (Think foods from the garden or meats from the farmers market.) I LOVE that philosophy, and try to cook with that in mind as much as possible. Our go-to dinners of late are grilled meat or seafood with a bevy of vegetables tossed in a homemade vinaigrette. I love this recipe for Tuna Nicoise from Tyler Florence on Food Network. The dressing is deceptively easy to make, despite the long item list. Oh, and did I mention it’s delish?
Since we don’t have a large garden (or a barn in the backyard), I purchase a lot of our food through a local co-op which ensures that produce is locally grown and meat is raised humanely. For a list of co-ops near you, visit this directory.
2) When there is a label, know what the ingredients are. Let’s be honest. It’s the stuff with labels that tends to make the items in #1 shine. Seasonings. Condiments. Oh, and pretty much any sweet treat or snack. It can be challenging to decipher most ingredient lists. What the heck is Butylated Hydroxytoluene or TBHQ? I dunno. But, I think I’ll pass.
What I look for are products with just as few ingredients as possible and names I understand and can pronounce. Recently, I’ve discovered HamptonCreek foods and LOVE them. I’ve been mixing the Just Mayo with minced garlic for an instant aioli to dip roasted broccoli in. And when I need a quick snack? Just Chocolate Chunk Cookies are divine.
3) Log it when you need to. You know those days when your jeans feel tight? Happens to the best of us. When I know it’s time to lose a few pounds, I start a food diary. It’s a pain, but it makes me think before I put anything in my mouth. Is it worth writing down or logging it into My Fitness Pal? If not, don’t eat it. It’s amazing how being lazy can be a natural tool for weight-loss! 🙂
4) Plan in advance. I’ve always found that having a list of go-to meals with a rough idea of when I’ll be making them throughout the week helps me to avoid calling for take out and helps me to remember to pull meats out of the freezer to defrost. I keep a weekly menu clipped to my fridge which makes it easy to know what to cook each day. In the mornings, I chop, season or marinate meats, then when it’s evening time I’m ready to go. No excuses.
5) Cheat when it’s worth it. That mac ‘n cheese leftover from your kids’ lunch? Pass. That so-so appetizer at a backyard BBQ? Skip that too. For me, my cheating usually involves dining out and, yes, beer and wine. Gotta enjoy life. I’ve always found that when I try to totally eliminate the things I love it backfires. Instead, when I’m having a food craving, I indulge. But just enough to fix the craving, then stop. It usually works. Unless it’s a tight jeans day. Then it’s back to #3.
So now I gotta ask – are you a dieter? What’s worked for you?