How do You Know Which Foods Are Good For You?
How Much Should You Eat - and How Often?
No one would ever berate someone for not looking good in certain colors or how often they take a breath because we accept that each person is an individual. But when it comes to food, we overlook the fact that each of us is different in that respect as well.
While we all share the same general needs for nutrients and calories, each of us has specific needs to insure the well being of our own unique body.
Within the generally accepted guidelines of good nutrition, it is possible for a family to sit down to a meal together but unrealistic to expect that each person at the table should eat the same way, in the same amounts or even enjoy the same foods.
So how do you know what's good for you and what isn't?
The first step is to listen to your body. You already know what's nutritious food and what isn't.
Within that frame work, choose the foods that are the most appealing to you.
For example, all people need protein. How and where you get that protein is up to you. Some people prefer beef. Some chicken. Others fish. Vegetarians receive ample amounts of protein from beans and tofu. While a varied diet is considered the most healthful (because we really don't know enough about individual nutrition and it's the best way to cover all the bases) people can and do live healthful lives eating only fish or beef or chicken or tofu. The point is, food that appeals to you (assuming it's healthful) is good for your body. If you don't like it, don't eat it.
Food preference is a very basil human set point developed over hundreds of thousands of years of evolution. At a very basil level, food that tastes good is probably good for you. Food that doesn't taste good (to you) is probably of little or no value to you and may even be harmful. Interestingly, the very foods you don't care for may be a favorite of someone else which would mean that they were healthful for them.
This is not the same thing as choosing not to eat certain foods because you are not familiar with them. Tasting new foods can and does open up a whole new world of good taste and interesting possibilities plus a varied diet is considered to be the most healthful.
The basic foods in this wellness plan allow for individual food preferences. Choose the healthy foods that appeal to you and be open to new possibilities. When your body is fed properly, severe cravings go away. Cravings are the body's communication that it's searching for a nutrient or nutrients it needs.
How much you should eat (your portion size) is up to you as well. Some women have hearty appetites, some very small appetites. Some women do well with three meals. Some prefer to graze all day long. You already know how you like to eat because how you eat makes you feel the best. Should you change your eating pattern? Only if you want to.
Women over eat because we are trying to satisfy a physical need. While there is certainly a psychological component to over eating, most women don't choose to over eat. Most women want to look healthy and feel good.
Over eating occurs because the chemical needs of the body have not been met and those needs may have had psychological causes. For example, stress can cause women to over eat because stress depletes nutrients and the body is trying to replace them.
Feed the body properly and it will support you rather than be a burden. While you are on the path to wellness, the basic foods will support your well being while the body relaxes and embraces your spirit rather than being at war with it.
As you move down the path of wellness, you'll naturally choose smaller portions because you'll need less. When a child cries out for love, we don't hug them briefly than push them away saying "that's enough." We hug them until they're satisfied and comfortable to go off on their own. The same is true for our bodies. We need to embrace them and make them comfortable until they feel secure because we've been pushing them away for far too long.