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Obviously, it is better to eat a healthier diet than the typical Standard American Diet (SAD). However, I understand that a lifestyle change can become overwhelming so these easy tricks can be a great place to start. I also want to underscore the importance of lifestyle change here. I do not believe in diets as they have been proven time and time again to not work, certainly not for the long term. This is probably in part because the word
"diet" has a connotation of meaning temporary, most likely with the end goal of rapid weight loss (which always comes back with a vengeance!). Since this is about long-term lifestyle changes, there’s no rush! It’s much better to move in baby steps that you are comfortable with, so you don’t throw in the towel and revert to your old ways. These here are simple tricks to eat better without changing what you eat, but how you eat.
Always be mindful when you're eating. This means not to be simultaneously watching TV, doing work, driving, etc. When you’re doing other activities while eating, you end up not paying attention to hunger cues and therefore overeating.
Only eat to 80 percent fullness.
This practice was first brought to the publics’ attention after a blue zone was found in Okinawa, Japan. A blue zone is an area of the world where there is a markedly higher percentage of people living over 100 and still able to do daily tasks like driving and gardening. Almost every centenarian interviewed from Okinawa mentioned that they eat until they reach an 80 percent fullness level—a practice they refer to as “Hara hachi bu.”
Chew your food.
You should be chewing your food until it reaches a baby food-like consistency. It’s important to remember that chewing is the only mechanical process of digestion. From there, the food is broken down into individual parts using only chemicals(mostly acids in the stomach). This process only works when the food is completely chewed up.
Do not consume large amounts of liquid while eating.
You should stop consuming large amounts of fluid (including water) 30 minutes before eating and up to 30 minutes after you are done. This is because consuming too many fluids can dilute your stomach acid, which is a crucial part of the digestion process. Note: this means you must actively stay hydrated between meals!
Bless your food.
Whatever this means for you, whether it be praying over it or just having a moment to be thankful for the nutrients it is about to nourish you with. It may sound silly, but this can have profound effects! Japanese researcher and scientist, Masaru Emoto, takes photos of frozen water crystals under different circumstances. For example, he would tape words like "Evil," "Thank you," or "Truth" on separate containers filled with water, freeze them, then photograph the water crystals. The results are pictured below.
As you can see, words have a major effect on the shape of water molecules and foods are often made up of water more than 50 percent water (especially fruits and vegetables).
Hopefully these tips can help you to easily transition to a more healthy lifestyle!
'You disgust me.'
Photo Credit for Water Crystals: (C) Office Masaru Emoto, LLC