I know everyone recommends eating in moderation, somehow it always seems 10 times harder than what it actually is. A Year ago you could have put a packet of chocolate biscuits in front of me and bet your nana’s underpants I would have devoured the lot! Fortunately there was a big secret that I mastered to finally control my over indulgent eating patterns where chocolates, fatty foods and the like were concerned.
Eating The Right Sort Of Carbs:
In today’s dieting world carbs have become somewhat forbidden, you’d be better off robbing a bank than you would to order some Dutch potatoes! But in reality there are some carbs that are good for you. So let’s take a closer look at what carbs are and what they can actually do for you. First of all there are two types of carbs:
- Simple Carbohydrates
- Complex Carbohydrates
Starting with the baddie – Simple carbohydrates are those that are filled with hidden sugars and fats. They also have no or very little nutrient value. And many of us find ourselves addicted to them on a daily basis! You can easily find simple carbs in all baked foods such as cakes, biscuits, milk chocolate and lollies or candy. You can also find them in cereals, white bread, white flour, table sugar, fruit juice and soda. I’m sure you get the idea now!
Always, always check the labels on anything you put in your mouth. Try to avoid anything with fructose, sugar, sucrose or corn syrup. Basically most foods that have been processed will have simple carbs in them. The other thing to bear in mind is that these foods are generally calorie dense. Meaning that one chocolate covered muesli bar will probably have more calories than:
- 1 cup Mushrooms
- 1 cup Zucchini
- 1 cup celery
- 200g Chicken Breast
It also means that you would have to eat the whole box of bars to become full. Another note to remember is that you would also receive more nutrients, energy and goodness from the latter meal described above. But more importantly you won’t suffer the consequences of over indulging in calories or bad fats.
Simple carbs make us crave more simple carbs. They can take over and cause you to experience extreme highs and really low lows. They give you the sugar rush from hell and when their reaction wears off, guess what your body decides it wants? Yep you guessed it, more and more simple carbs until you have consumed 2000 or more calories than you really needed. It is just not possible to eat one chocolate biscuit, you may be able to beat the craving for an hour or two or even for a day. As soon as temptation gives in you’ll definitely make up for any lost time where simple carbs are concerned. Portion control does not go hand in hand with simple carbs. Luckily there is a really easy way to beat it.
Allow complex carbs to be your best friend. They will help your blood sugar levels to stay consistent. Your brain will receive the nutrients it needs from healthier carbs. And you’ll lose weight faster without the struggle of portion control, eating for moderation or battling with cravings for sweets or sugars of any kind.
Complex carbs can be found in vegetables such as green leafy ones and yes potatoes are included along with fruits such as apples, pears or grapefruit, oatmeal, oat bran, whole grain breads, and brown rice. Basically anything that is natural. The more we humans seem to interfere with food for its shelf life, the worse it seems to be for our health! Other than that, it is must for us to have an eating schedule set up.
Start and end your day with some good quality protein such as lean steak, chicken breast or fish. Accompany this with some delicious fresh and tasty complex carbs. Season your food with some fresh or dried herbs instead of the readymade sauces. I know they are more convenient to use. But if you cut these items out of your diet you’ll have a much easier time eating in moderation.
The biggest transition I had was switching from cereal and toast to baked or grilled chicken breast with salad or vegetables for breakfast. That was just plain weird! I mean for thirty years of my life I have woken up to a big bowl of cereal and toast. Meat, veggies and potatoes were always for dinner. In recent months I have come to believe that the western way of eating isn’t necessarily the most healthiest way to eat. If you take the Thai culture for example, they don’t differentiate their meals between breakfast, lunch or dinner. They may have rice, salad, meats or seafood at any time of the day.
Once I made the effort to get off my backside and prepare my meals from scratch, eating in moderation is a breeze, I don’t crave for chocolates, sweets or processed foods. My moods are more relaxed and stress free. Somewhat less erratic some might say! The most important point to make though is that the excess weight I had, slowly but surely melted away!
There isn’t really a way to do this without making the conscious effort for complete change. It’s not a matter of trying to eat 1 or 2 chocolate biscuits. You’ve got to give them a miss altogether otherwise you will always struggle to avoid them. After a few days of eating more complex carbs, the cravings just disappear, I don’t know why but they just do. You can’t over eat with vegetables and suffer same the effects that you do with simple carbs.
For today, try and make the last meal you eat contain a lean meat with vegetables or salad. It will make a change to your sleep, the way you wake up in the morning and also to the choices you make for breakfast the next day.