Full vs Satisfied
There is a big difference between being physically full vs. satisfied.
Do you find yourself wanting a little something more after your meal, despite being full? It could be because what you ate didn’t satisfy you. When you eat a meal that “hits the spot,” you’ll leave the table feeling content.
Ways to increase satisfaction of your meal
*Make it pretty: make your meal colorful and visually appetizing.
*Please your palate: aim to incorporate different flavors, textures and temperatures to your plate to keep your taste buds interested.
*Honor your cravings: if you’re in the mood for a warm, hearty soup for lunch, but have a salad instead, you might feel physically full, but not necessarily satisfied. So when it comes time to eat, do your best to figure out what you are truly craving and what will be most satisfying to you in that moment.
It’s helpful to understand into your food preferences and tune into your cravings. By listening to your body, you’ll gain a better sense of which foods you find most satiating, and those that leave you craving more.
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Honoring Hunger with Intuitive Eating
You don’t need a diet, meal plan or calorie counter to tell you when to eat. The body knows exactly how much fuel it needs, and hunger is your body’s way of letting you know when it needs more. When you have true physical hunger, you’ll experience an empty feeling in your stomach and/or feel your stomach growl. Honoring hunger means listening to your body’s signals and eating when hungry.
Just as you wait for the gas tank on your car to fall to E before filling it with more gas, let your body use up the fuel it has before you had more food to your stomach.
While waiting for hunger makes sense, there are many times we eat for reasons other than true hunger… mindlessly while watching TV, because it’s “time to eat,” because you see other people eating, out of emotions like boredom, stress, loneliness, etc., or purely out of habit. In these instances, your stomach is not calling for food, but your head/emotions are. It’s important to recognize the difference between physical hunger, head hunger and emotional hunger.
Eating for reasons other than true hunger, will likely give your body more food than it needs (which oftentimes gets stored on the body in places we don’t want it!).
If your goal is to lose weight, maintain a healthy weight, or become an intuitive eater, waiting for true physical hunger before you eat is something to work towards!
So, before you eat your next meal, ask yourself, ‘Am I actually hungry?’
How do you avoid all of the tempting foods and treats during the holidays?
Restriction/Deprivation = Greater urge to eat with less self-control = Overeating/Binge = Food guilt = “Start fresh tomorrow” by restricting again.
It’s a vicious cycle that produces so much food anxiety that it can ruin your experience around the holidays, dinner parties and gatherings.
And this is why diets always backfire. When you follow a diet, it will tell you what to eat and what not to eat. Which foods are “good” and which are “bad.” And diets tell you to eat a certain way 100% of the time (pssttt, impossible. We’re humans not robots). This sets us up for nothing but food fear and guilt, and creates an unhealthy relationship with food.
In a healthy, balanced lifestyle, there’s a time and place for all foods. No foods are off-limits, and knowing this, we can allow ourselves to enjoy what we want, without guilt. Moderation can be more easily achieved because the feeling to have it all ‘now or never’ (which often stems from restriction/deprivation) goes away!
You can enjoy some chocolate or ice cream or pizza, have enough of it to feel satisfied, and stop there because you know you can have some again tomorrow if you want.
So before you dive headfirst into the dessert table, remind yourself that it doesn’t have to be starve or stuff. There’s an enjoyable balance in the middle. And that’s food freedom.
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Is granola healthy? This is a question I am often asked by my clients.
As with all foods, it’s important to consider the quality of ingredients, nutritional profile and the quantity you consume. While many products will make health claims, by reading the nutritional labels, you’ll find that there are many brands of granola that are high in sugar and contain some not-so-great ingredients. If you whip up a yogurt parfait by pairing a sugary granola with sweetened yogurt and fruit, you could be looking at hefty serving of sugar for breakfast! So how do you know if your granola is healthy?
The first thing you want to do is read the list of ingredients. Do you recognize them? Can you pronounce them?
Next you’ll want to check the amount of sugar. As a general rule of thumb, I’d opt for under 7g of sugar for a 1/3 cup serving. Keep in mind that serving sizes will vary.
Since granola tends to be calorie-dense, I suggest making granola an accompaniment to your meal/snack rather than making it the star of the show, as would be the case with cereal. Add a little granola on your yogurt, on top of a smoothie or have a small handful for a quick snack.
There are SO many great natural brands that you should have no trouble at all finding one that you love! Two of my favorite brands of granola are Nature’s Path and Love Grown.