1. I no longer label foods as ‘’good’’ or ‘’bad.’’
2. I no longer have any foods that are ‘’off limits.’’ If I want to eat something I will.
3. I no longer have an ‘’all or nothing’’ approach to eating. Before, I aimed to be ‘’good’’ all the time, and if I ate food that I thought was ‘’bad,’’ I would say ‘’fuck it,’’ and would often go totally overboard. While I still do go overboard sometimes, it is done totally mindfully, and without any guilt.
4. I have been eating pescatarian for the past 6 months, and it has been surprisingly effortless and enjoyable. I am doing this purely for ethical reasons. While this is what I am doing, I would never in a million years push my choices on anybody else. Do what works for YOU.
5. I no longer eat until I’m extremely full. I stop when I am satisfied.
6. I no longer allow myself to get extremely hungry as I get totally ‘’hangry’’ (more like in a terrible mental daze), but I’m also ok with feeling a slight amount of hunger. My main goal is that I need to be able to function, both physically and mentally.
7. I often have a snack at night as this helps me sleep. Back in the day I fell prey to the ridiculous myth that eating past 6pm is bad. As I’d often go to bed hungry, I would wake up in the middle of the night and would be so hungry, and couldn’t sleep.
8. Rather than trying to make a ‘’healthy’’ version of a food, for instance, cauliflower crust pizza, I will just eat real pizza. If I eat a higher calorie food, I will usually balance it out by eating lower calorie foods throughout the day.
9. Moderation works extremely well for me.
10. I do not track calories, but am mindful of what I am doing. Depending on my goals, and they are usually to maintain my body comp or perhaps gain a slight amount of weight, I have educated myself so that I am familiar with calories in most foods, and I am familiar with portion sizes. Educating yourself will reap huge dividends and can eliminate much of the stress than can be associated with eating.
11. That being said, tracking calories is an extremely helpful practice for many, as is measuring portions, as most people totally underestimate how much they are eating, so in many instances, I am an advocate of doing both.
12. I do not believe in fad diets. I’m all about creating a healthy, practical, enjoyable, and sustainable lifestyle.
13. I am willing to try so many different foods now, even if I don’t know the nutritional content. Before I used to be pretty fearful of eating foods I wasn’t familiar with. Now I enjoy what I’m doing.
14. When I go out to eat, I will often look up the nutrition content online beforehand. The ONLY reason I do this is so I am not ‘’tricked’’ into eating a seemingly low-cal dish when it is actually inundated with calories. Back in the day I always used to order salads as I was trying to be ‘’healthy,’’ but I now know that they were often much higher in calories than foods I enjoyed way more, like pizza. If I’m going to order a low-cal dish I want it to actually be low-cal.
15. There is no ‘’one size fits all’’ approach to eating, and never will be.
16. I will never put butter or oil in my coffee, nor will I fall prey to the very unfortunate myth that bulletproof coffee is a magical fat loss, energy boosting tonic. It is not!
17. While I do aim to eat a decent amount of protein on a daily basis, I no longer worry if I don’t get enough during a particular meal, or on any given day. My muscles will not waste away. I used to think they would.
18. I do not let a ‘’bad’’ day, or days, throw me off track. Like your training in the gym, consistency is key. The same applies to nutrition. When I was in North Carolina this past month, I was so lax with my eating and it was well worth it. It also showed me that taking a ‘’break’’ from my routine is no big deal.
19. In most instances, I no longer opt for fat-free or low calorie options, or fake versions of real food. I opt for the regular variations as taste matters, and if I’m being mindful of overall calories, I will just reduce my portion a bit.
20. I try to follow an 80/20 rule. 80% of what I eat is usually nutritious, and helps me meet my goals. The other 20%ish percent is purely for my enjoyment.
21. I no longer eat 5-6 small meals per day, as like many, I used to believe that doing so would keep my ‘’metabolism revving.’’ Once again, I’m rolling my eyes at how uneducated I was. I usually eat 2-3 bigger meals per day and do have some snacks. Other days I will eat 5-6 smaller meals, but due to my schedule and preference, not because I’m trying to boost my metabolism. That being said, as there is no ‘’one size fits all’’ approach to nutrition, more smaller meals throughout the day does work extremely well for some people.
22. I only eat higher calorie foods I enjoy. If something is being served and I don’t love it, I won’t eat it. I make all of my higher calorie meals and snacks count.
23. I eat way more vegetables than I used to. And I’ve learned how to prepare them so they taste amazing.
24. I carry around protein bars so I always have food for when I am busy, stuck somewhere, or might not have good options. For instance, I was recently trapped in an unexpected snowstorm. Luckily I had a protein bar to eat as I had to abandon my car and run home, and I needed the energy. If I am flying somewhere and if my flights are long and the layovers are short, I will often eat protein bars. I’ve found a protein bar I really like that is high in protein, low in sugar, low in cost, and tastes really good.
25. I am no longer scared of sugar as I totally bought into much of the fear mongering that exists. While I don’t advocate polishing off huge bags of candy in one sitting, or on a consistent basis, having some sugar from time to time is perfectly ok. In fact, I have a newish ‘’self care’’ practice of having a small amount of ice cream first thing in the morning as this makes me happy.
26. I have learned how to season my foods, and love spicy and flavourful.
27. If I don’t feel like eating breakfast I won’t. Once again, I used to believe that in order to ‘’ignite the metabolism,’’ I had to eat within 30 minutes after waking. Now my #1 priority is getting coffee. Some people do best when they eat within 30 minutes of waking, others don’t. So once again, there is no ‘’one size fits all’’ approach.
28. I only eat ‘’healthy’’ foods that I enjoy. If something doesn’t taste good, I won’t eat it. I used to force myself to eat foods I didn’t like as they were perhaps lower calorie, and thought of as ‘’good.’’
29. If I followed a keto diet, I would be unable to function, both physically and mentally. I don’t just want to function, I want to thrive. While I named this diet, there are definitely others I could add to the list.
30. I no longer eat purely to control my appearance. To be very clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with aiming to lose fat, or achieving other aesthetic goals. In fact, this can be very motivating and healthy. Back in the day, everything I did was to control how I looked, and this was both mentally and physically exhausting, and soul zapping. How you eat should not prevent you from having a social life, or feeling healthy, vibrant, and empowered.
31. To some extent, I do use food as ‘’self care,’’ and this is ok. As I mentioned, every morning I will have a bit of ice cream, and the good stuff. This makes me feel happy, and soothes my soul. Before I would never have ‘’allowed’’ myself to do this.
32. I do not take many supplements. Aside from an iron and magnesium supplement, and these awesome electrolyte drops, I do not take anything. Before I used to take many more.
33. I have an extremely flexible and adaptable approach with my eating. This allows me to follow similar principles no matter where I am and what I’m doing.
34. My daily caloric intake will usually depend on how active I’ve been that day. Some days I will consume way more calories (sometimes upwards of 3000+), and on other days I will consume a lot less (1700-1800). I don’t know exact numbers as I don’t track, but I am mindful. I know my body, and what works for me.
35. If have many effortless ‘’calorie saving’’ measures I employ as this allows me to really enjoy what I’m eating, and not ‘’waste calories’’ as this is so easy to do. For instance, if I am going out to eat, I will usually order my dressing on the side. Most restaurant salads are basically dressing soup, with some vegetables. This spares me from being bombarded with many needless calories.
36. I eat a lot more carbs than I used to. Back in the day, I did try to eat fewer carbs. The end result is that I had much less energy, both during my workouts, and throughout the day, and my body fat was significantly higher. My sleep quality and ability to think was also much worse.
37. My eating is just as much for my mental health as it is for my physical health.