Foodie: a person who has an ardent or refined interest in food and alcoholic beverages. A foodie seeks new food experiences as a hobby rather than simply eating out of convenience or hunger.
Yep, that pretty much describes me to a T! My husband once made the life-threatening mistake of saying to my face, “you just like to eat!”
Note to you husbands or boyfriends out there…don’t say that to your lady…EVER! I wanted to smack him in the noggin until I realized he was 100% right (just kidding). But, still…don’t say that to a woman! ha
There are many different reasons as to WHY we eat.
For me, there are a few different reasons:
Social: If I am going to meet up with friends, there is a 99% chance food or drinks will be involved. It’s just more fun when food and drinks are involved.
Emotional/hormonal: (cough cough) I have been known to want to eat a tray of brownies and watch The Notebook about once a month. I don’t know why???? HeHe
Boredom: Sometimes, I just want to eat because….well, why not! I have some time to kill. I might as well grab something to eat, right?
If I’m honest, more times than not, I find myself eating because of one or more of those reasons.
I forget the REAL REASON why we eat–
nutrition and survival.
We all know we should eat because it is a requirement for us to survive. But, yet, we as a society (especially us American’s) have changed eating to be less and less about nutrition and more about other things (social, boredom etc.)
Why is that? And, how can we change that?
I believe the main reason for the shift is that we have lost touch with how to listen to our bodies and give it what we really need.
There are so many “fad diets” that we try to follow. We limit ourselves on WHAT we eat rather than HOW/WHY we should eat. We don’t take the time to slow down and ENJOY our food.
We eat rushed and, in doing so, eat more than we should. We don’t give our body a chance to tell us when we are full. I know for me, there have been times when something TASTES REALLY GOOD so I go for a big heaping serving of it. Followed by another. Shortly thereafter, I am #regrets! I feel uncomfortable. I feel stuffed. I feel guilty for over indulging! If I were to slow down and listen to my body when it’s saying I’ve had enough, this wouldn’t happen.
I also think we put too much emphasis on WHAT we eat.
Okay, hear me out on this one…If we were to focus on eating for survival and giving our bodies what we need to function at its best, we would naturally be eating healthier foods. For example, in my posts: Best PRE-Workout Foods and Best Post-Workout Foods, I talk about how certain foods can fuel your body and how others can help your body recover from a work out session. If we were to keep that basic thought process in mind when we choose our foods, we would naturally be eating foods that are good for us. We would be eating fruits, veggies etc because our body needs them to perform at it’s best. And, I don’t just mean perform athletically. I mean perform daily tasks. Energy levels, mental clarity etc can all improve with a healthier diet. I can tell a HUGE difference when I am eating clean vs when I have been slacking and hitting up the drive through more often than I’d like to admit. I just feel better all around when I am choosing healthier foods. Our body does an exceptional job keeping us going when we give it the right tools.
I think, when we get into the habit of eating to fuel our body to function, it becomes easier to avoid the foods on the so-called “no no” list. We get to where we quit buying the chips and dip and, instead throw some humus and carrot sticks into our shopping cart.
With this in mind, I don’t think we should ever limit ourselves to JUST HEALTHY FOOD. Again, hear me out on this one…when we tell ourselves certain foods are “off-limits,” it becomes something we want EVEN MORE! I don’t know about you, but each time I start a new “diet,” all I want are those stinkin’ brownies I mentioned earlier! It becomes this big battle with myself to see if I can resist the urge or not. But, why? Why is it such a big deal? If I can eat a brownie slowly and ENJOY it while I listen to my body when it says “that’s enough,” there’s no harm in that. The problem with eating this type of food, is when it’s done frequently and overdone. Here comes another shameless plug for another post of mine (haha): I Ate the Entire 7-Course Meal…and I Don’t Feel Guilty! In this post, I talk about a dinner cruise I went on with my husband to celebrate our anniversary. To say I over indulged is an understatement. However, it’s not something I do regularly and REALLY enjoyed myself. I still don’t regret it!
There are ways we can still enjoy being a “foodie” and still be healthy.
Socially:When we eat with our friends in a social environment, be sure to still listen to your body when it’s time to stop. Nibbling on food while you chat is an easy way to eat more than we intended to. When I meet up with friends to eat, I will either share my meal with my kids or box up half of my meal right away so that I have a smaller portion. Once I eat that portion, I will wait a little while to see if I am truly still hungry or if I’m eating to socially eat.
Emotional/hormonal: We all have those days when we have cravings. They can be pretty hard to avoid sometimes. But, as I mentioned, there’s nothing too horribly wrong with giving into our cravings when we do so mindfully. Rather than eating an entire tray of brownies like my mind is telling me I should, I need to listen to my stomach and stop at just one brownie. I should savor it. Enjoy the flavors of it and appreciate it for the treat it is!
Boredom: This one seems like a no-brainer. Just keep busy! ha But, we all know, that can be easier said than done sometimes. It really is true though. When you find yourself wanting to snack ask yourself, “am I snacking because I’m hungry or because I’m bored?” If you, in fact, are hungry, try to choose a snack that will fuel your body with energy rather than one that will leave you heavy and unmotivated.
I just focused on the main reasons why I eat.
They may be different from yours.
You may like to eat because you enjoy baking. Perhaps you are a great hostess and you find joy in cooking new dishes for your guests. Maybe you are like me and like to “sample” ALL 322,942 sample stations at Costco each week. Whatever it may be for you, keep the basic principles I mentioned in mind.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!
Ask yourself in the moment, “why am I wanting to eat?” and make sure it is, in fact, because you are hungry. Also, listen to your body when it is saying you have fulfilled that goal of eating for nutrition/survival. Quit when your body says it’s satisfied. Lastly, allow yourself to eat “unhealthy” foods sometimes. Focusing too much on what we are eating can take our focus away from WHY we are eating.
I hope this helps you as you make your food choices this week.
Remember, I am NOT A DOCTOR. Everything I mention in this post is fully my opinion. You should always speak to your doctor first before starting a major health change. However, the advice I give here is pretty basic and, I feel, can be useful for mostly everyone.
What are some of YOUR reasons for eating besides for nutrition/survival? Do you feel it’s something these tips could help you with?