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katem8
@katem8

Posts: 2
Joined: May 05, 2016

You Can Have Both: Enjoy life and Eat Healthy

Posted by @katem8, May 5, 2016

You want to enjoy life. You want to enjoy doing the things you love. Spending time with friends, family, watching sports, celebrating birthdays, graduations, engagements, stopping for lunch after a great hike, going to festivals, brunches, and parties, all involve eating, and drinking too. And in the attempt to get healthy, you feel dread as these events approach, wondering if there will be healthy options, if you’ll have fun while everyone else is eating the creamy spinach dip in the bread bowl while you munch on a boring celery stick. You end up feeling like more of an outcast, when you really just want to fit in.

Taking the joy out of eating can take the joy out of living, since it has become an integral part of every celebration, special occasion and quite simply, daily life. Good thing you don’t have to choose between the two. If indulging in party food is what you want, then enjoying it in moderation is always an option within a healthy lifestyle. But what if you don’t want to? Real food, is the healthiest food, so as long as you stick to that, you won’t be breaking that “diet.” You may be wondering what you can do in situations where “real food” is not available. I have some solutions below.

Parties:

If you can host get togethers with friends and family you can control the food. Yes, your family may insist on chips and dip, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have to mix the dip packet with sour cream. Find healthy, whole and fresh food alternatives without the additives and have other options for chips like, vegetables or baked chips from plantains, potatoes, beets or carrots. It is a great opportunity to show your friends and family that eating healthy is exciting and delicious.

Now, if you cannot host all parties, because who really can? Offer to bring your favorites, and “healthify” them. This way, you don’t being a vegetable platter while your favorites are sitting on the table beside it. There are endless healthy versions of party staples all over Pinterest. Instead of revamping old favorites, it can be fun to try new and exciting recipes that may become new favorites. It can be empowering to share healthy and delicious food with your family and friends, leading by example.

Going Out:

This one is tricky and something most people struggle with. A no-fail approach doesn’t exist. I won’t lie, it simply takes self control. It is difficult to watch your friends eat whatever they want and not gain a pound, but regardless, you want to feel better, whether for that beach body, health, wellbeing or all of the above. You can choose the avoidance route. No, you don’t have to avoid hanging out with friends. Avoid going to places with absolutely no tasty, healthy options or avoid going out to a restaurant and suggest something else, like hanging out at a park or beach, going for a hike, checking out a museum, exhibit or an event of interest in your area. Enjoy a life experience with people you have fun with, where food is secondary, rather than sitting at the bar for hours.

It can also be helpful to separate food and emotions, which is not easy and takes some time. You can practice this by doing something productive when bored hunger sets in, or when feeling sad. Choosing health and happiness promoting foods is also helpful. The more it is practiced the easier it becomes until the two no long depend on each other.

I’d love to know what ways you’ve found to enjoy eating while living or obstacles you’ve faced so please share them below!

Liked by Paul

REPLY

Hi @katem8. Welcome to Connect! Thanks for posing this question and sharing your thoughts and tips. This is a great topic for discussion. I’m tagging @barbarajane @cynaburst @cynthiamary, @HeartPatches, @mlemieux and @joem who might like to join the conversation! Also, here is some info from Mayo Clinic on nutrition tips that may spark some ideas: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/basics/nutrition-basics/hlv-20049477.

One of the things that has worked for me (I lost over 60 lbs. and have kept it off for many years), is finding substitutions for the not-so-good choices I made in the past. For example, after lunch, I have one small piece of dark chocolate and find it satisfies my sweet tooth. I don’t need to have a candy bar or a bag of candy. I also eat a lot of fruit. It’s surprising how natural sugar can take the place of high-fat, sugared foods and feel just as satisfying. With regard to eating out, I usually order what I want, but always take half of my meal home for another time–if you put it in a to-go box right away, you won’t be tempted to eat it and let’s face it, we are served way too much food in restaurants.

@jenniene

One of the things that has worked for me (I lost over 60 lbs. and have kept it off for many years), is finding substitutions for the not-so-good choices I made in the past. For example, after lunch, I have one small piece of dark chocolate and find it satisfies my sweet tooth. I don’t need to have a candy bar or a bag of candy. I also eat a lot of fruit. It’s surprising how natural sugar can take the place of high-fat, sugared foods and feel just as satisfying. With regard to eating out, I usually order what I want, but always take half of my meal home for another time–if you put it in a to-go box right away, you won’t be tempted to eat it and let’s face it, we are served way too much food in restaurants.

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Hi, @jenniene, Welcome to Connect. I am happy that you have joined us. Thank you for sharing your ‘secret’ for healthy eating. I would like to congratulate you for your successful weight loss and weight management! I am always looking for ways to keep my weight in check, and I try to eat more healthy foods. I especially appreciate the hint about how you enjoy one small piece of dark chocolate after your lunch. That is when I seem to get my biggest craving! I can’t wait to try this one! I’m guilty of getting and eating a whole candy bar when I feel like I’ve deprived myself.
How long have you maintained your ‘new’ weight’ ? Do you have any ideas to share with us about how to survive the holiday feasts and goodies? I think that holidays are the downfall of me, and many others.
Rosemary

@jenniene

One of the things that has worked for me (I lost over 60 lbs. and have kept it off for many years), is finding substitutions for the not-so-good choices I made in the past. For example, after lunch, I have one small piece of dark chocolate and find it satisfies my sweet tooth. I don’t need to have a candy bar or a bag of candy. I also eat a lot of fruit. It’s surprising how natural sugar can take the place of high-fat, sugared foods and feel just as satisfying. With regard to eating out, I usually order what I want, but always take half of my meal home for another time–if you put it in a to-go box right away, you won’t be tempted to eat it and let’s face it, we are served way too much food in restaurants.

Jump to this post

Thank you for your nice reply! I lost 40 pounds 15 years ago and four years ago lost another 20 or so pounds. Weight loss, and especially maintenance, is not easy and everyone has times when they don’t make good choices–I certainly do. I think the trick is not to let those days/times derail your resolve to live a healthier lifestyle. The holidays are TOUGH! These are my suggestions: First of all, have as few tempting holiday foods in the house as possible. Really question what you are making (baked goods especially) and what you are taking home. Are they necessary? When you are going to a holiday gathering, eat something healthy before you go and have a plan–such as I’m going to have x amount of sweets or one plate of what’s available. I don’t believe in depriving yourself–my mantra is “everything in moderation.” You can also step up your exercise to make up for some of the additional calories you plan to consume. Exercise is not only good for burning calories, but great as a holiday de-stressor. Best of luck, Rosemary!

Liked by thankful

Nicely written
here's a guide for everyone on how to eat a balanced diet

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