Balanced nutrition is all about portion control. Portion control and eating plans start with one small change every day and with one small change, it then turns into a non-arduous everyday habit.
Most would have heard this before, but it is true. Cold turkey and abrupt changes encourage negative reinforcement, where if you gradually become used to the change it doesn’t seem so bad.
I thought the reference in the title, taken from Series 03 Episode 14 (episode: The Einstein Approximation) of The Big Bang Theory was rather apt. Using this as an example, eat something healthy, then you can have a snack is all well and good BUT make sure the snack does not over balance the good. For example, there is no point having a healthy meal containing low fat prepared meats, vegetables and seasoning if you are going to have a 500 calorie piece of cake afterwards.
We won’t go into the what, why and how of cognitive behaviour therapy, we will just jump to the point, to break a habit you just need to modify one thing per day. The even better news is that for this to work, it has to be one small thing.
We won’t lie, it does take discipline as it is very difficult to break a habit when it has been in effect for a reasonable period of time, it doesn’t have to be a long time even but the good news is that habits are not that difficult to break, if you know how to.
While many say that it is bad to reward yourself with food because you have been good with food, this is especially so for children, food can also be used to modify your thinking patterns and the way you control your eating plan. After all the aim is to love food, and if you love food then you will want to find out more about it and will be more motivated to eat in a balanced manner.
In the coming months No Food Limits will be updating the website with documents detailing how to read the nutritional information on food and what they really mean, so watch this space.
In the meantime, a quick tip is to keep a food log book for one week. Log everything you eat in the book, no cheating. You will be tempted to but don’t do it, then after 7 days, go through the log and see if there is anything you can alter. There is always and alternative. Please find an example below:
Breakfast: Porridge with a spoonful of sugar
Lunch: A round of sandwiches on white thick bread with processed ham, mayonnaise and salad.
Snack: Mars bar
Dinner: Pizza and chips
Breakfast: Porridge with a spoonful of cinnamon
Lunch: A round of sandwiches on either wholemeal or ‘best of both’ bread with lean ham or half a chicken breast, light/reduced fat mayonnaise and salad.
Snack: 50g seaweed peanut crackers, a granola bar, carrot sticks.
Dinner: Reduced fat pizza (preferably homemade), homemade wedges baked in the oven with no oil, perhaps some herb seasoning.
Originally provided by The Food Project (formerly NO Food Limits).
Featured image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chocolate_DaVincis_Madagascar.jpg
Arnold Gatilao [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons