Chicago Home and Lifestyles – Change The Way You Think About Food

As usual, more than a few of us probably thought that “losing weight” would be a good New Year’s resolution. Now, as we are past the middle of January, you may be feeling a little off, but please remember: losing weight does not always equate with being healthy! Here are a few ways to change your relationship with food and get healthier:

Start a food journal. Write down what you ate and how you felt afterwards. You do not need to be precise as to portions on a strict diet, but just summarize. Often, we eat simply because it is that time of day, not because we are actually hungry. Intuitive eating pays attention to internal cues when eating, not external ones. People that eat this way have much less stress about what and how much they eat! If you are a member of the “clean your plate club” – folks who were taught to never, ever leave food on their plate – try to adjust your thinking to when you are full, not when the plate is clean.

Cook a new recipe every week. People who cook at home have better overall health. They eat less take-out. Try to make the experience enjoyable for yourself. Turn off social media, emails, etc., light a candle and really enjoy your food. Eat slowly, savoring every bite. This also helps you to not overeat; it takes a while for your stomach to tell your brain “I am full”. 

Don’t just restrict. Add instead of subtracting! Include a vegetable with every meal. Throw some spinach on your pizza. Add veggies to your meatloaf. Roast a big pan of vegetables and pair with a lean piece of meat. Set a goal to eat a variety of nutrient dense foods. You can still have a couple of cookies for a snack but have a piece of fruit later. Nutrient dense foods also have a lot of fiber. Fiber feeds the bacteria in our guts and makes it harder for your body to absorb sugar and fats. 

And of course, finally, drink more water. Dehydration can cause everything from fatigue and constipation to urinary infections and heart disease. 80-100 ounces a day is minimum, more if you work out. Keep water near you to remember to drink. Download an app to help you drink more. You can add lemon or flavored electrolytes to make it more interesting!

Kathleen Weaver-Zech and Dean’s Team Chicago