Effortless Eating: Nutrition Made Simple

BY Neghar Fonooni TIMEAugust 15, 2022 PRINT

Are you confused by nutrition? What to eat, when to eat it, what’s good, what’s bad? Vegetarian, Clean Eating, Paleo, Intermittent Fasting, say what?! If so, then you aren’t alone by any means. The nutrition industry (and fitness industry, for that matter) is pretty complicated–and it doesn’t need to be.

I get it. Science. And also, capitalism, lobbyists, and food politics. We’ve succeeding in turning something as simple and satisfying as food into one of the most confusing topics of our time.But, as a big believer in living simply, I contend that nutrition does NOT have to be complicated and strict. In the spirit of simplicity, I’m sharing with you my my effortless eating intentions that I teach to clients:

1) Eat foods that make you feel good before, during, and after, both physically and mentally (includes indulgences).

If food is supposed to be our sustenance, why is it making us so sick? And if something makes you feel like absolute garbage (either physically or emotionally) then why even bother eating it? Here’s the thing: whether the food you eat is nourishing or indulgent, it should taste amazing and it shouldn’t leave you reeling.

Healthy food that nourishes your body can (and should) be palatable, and food that doesn’t nourish your body can still be neutral–meaning that it won’t send you into a gut inflamed, joint aching frenzy. Remember, the motto is eat, lift, and be happy. That last part is the most important, but it’s also greatly influenced by the first two.

I instruct all my clients to ask themselves this question before they eat:

“Is this food in line with my intentions?”

If yes, proceed.
If not, proceed with caution.

2) Eat foods that do not make you feel guilty (again, includes indulgences).

“I’ll have the pancakes, with a side of guilt please.”

-Said no one ever

Perhaps the most important aspect of effortless eating is guilt-free consumption. What’s the point of indulging if you’re just going to beat yourself up afterwards? Why eat something that you’ll later wish you hadn’t?

If food is both for sustenance and pleasure, then guilt has no place in the matter.

This isn’t to say you shouldn’t indulge–quite the contrary actually. Rather, indulge intentionally and intelligently, with the understanding that you’re making a conscious choice. When you set out to consume something, do so with the intention of enjoyment–not regret. If you’re going to eat chocolate, eat chocolate. Don’t berate yourself for it.

On the other hand, this isn’t a free pass to stuff yourself full of junk; refer to intention #1: eat food that makes you feel good before, during, and after. Feeling good post consumption means passing on the side of guilt.

3) Protein, veggies, and healthy fats (like avocado) are your top priority; everything else is bonus.

When you fill your plate with high quality protein and fresh produce-the two things that will leave you feeling the most sated and the most noursihed-there is little room for much else.

Epoch Times Photo

As much as possible, choose sustainably raised animal products and locally grown produce–quality of food is just as important as quantity, if not more.

4) Stop consuming when the bites/sips are not as divine as the first (First Bite Rule).

The “first bite rule” is clutch.

You know what I’m talking about. That first sip of wine that makes you go aaaaaahhhhh. That first bite of a warm chocolate chip cookie that makes you go mmmmmmm. It’s such a pleasurable experience. It’s food and it’s love and it’s heaven. Food is meant to be enjoyed, but shouldn’t we enjoy every bite as much as the first?

As much as I’d like to stay “stop eating when full,” I know how challenging that can be. Listen, if we all stopped eating when our stomachs were at capacity then there wouldn’t be such a thing as obesity. But, by paying attention to your palate (and not just fullness cues) you can control the quantity of consumption, simply by stopping when the next bite isn’t as fabulous as the first.

You don’t have to eat all the chocolate or drink all the wine. You don’t even have to eat the entire rotisserie chicken or the whole plate of brussels sprouts, for that matter. Go slow, taste, be mindful–and portion “control” will happen naturally.

Simple, Effortless, Effective

Incorporating these four intentions into your life will help streamline your nutritional efforts. You don’t have to do all four at once–at least not right away. Start with number one and work your way down until all four intentions become habits, and eating becomes effortless.

Because complicated nutrition? Worrying and stressing out over food? No, thank you. You’ve got far more important and enjoyable things to focus your energy on.

Neghar Fonooni, fitness & lifestyle coach, entrepreneur *Founder: Eat, Lift, & be Happy Read the original here

Images of plates with protein and vegetables via Shutterstock

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