Are you the boss of your mouth? Many times I wonder. I have an addictive personality that requires me to be extra careful because my actions often become habits. Food is no exception. Do you feel like your food choices are driven by habits, cravings or comfort rather than fueling your body? You’re not alone.
Food is the most important factor in body composition. In fact it accounts for 80% of what you look like right now. That doesn’t mean you can diet (or starve) your way to a healthy body. Exercise is still a vitally important component, as are appropriate nutrients and calories. The benefits of strength training are staggering, but working out for hours a day, every day, won’t get you the results you desire if you don’t learn to rule your food.
It’s never too late to become the boss of your mouth, and here’s a few great places to start:
- Don’t skip breakfast: Turns out your mother was right. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Not only does it give you energy to start the day, breakfast is linked to many health benefits including weight control and performance. Unfortunately the rules don’t apply if your go-to choice is a donut. Instead, jump-start your metabolism with a healthy option like cottage cheese and berries, or Greek yogurt with healthy granola.
- Control your portions: Remember the last time you said: my eyes were bigger than my stomach? Me either. We’re not saying it as much anymore. Portions have become wildly disproportionate to our needs and we’ve become accustomed to more and bigger. Try to rethink portions using a portion-control plate or simply switch your dinner plate for a salad plate. Changing the size of the space available for food helps to keep your eyes visually satisfied, while filling your stomach just right.
- Eat three meals: Many diets recommend five or even six small meals a day. No offense, but ain’t nobody got time for that! Moreover, this philosophy keeps you in a kitchen around food and thinking about food all day long, when what you really need to do is stop thinking about it! Prepare or plan three square meals a day and have a few healthy snack options on hand if you need them.
- Add fiber and fat: Fiber expands in your stomach and takes time to digest, keeping you fuller longer. Good sources include whole grains, veggies, and whole fruit. Healthy fats (in moderation) improve flavor, provide energy and help your body use certain nutrients. Try adding avocado to your eggs or chicken salad.
- Cook at home: People who prepare their own meals consume fewer calories, carbs, sugar and fat than those who cook rarely. Pressed for time? Find an hour to meal prep that will help you make healthy meals throughout the week. Voila. Easy, delicious and nutritious.
Tired of letting your mouth be the boss of you? Are you frustrated every time you fill your plate to overflowing or go back to the pan for more? Maybe you’re tired of the cavernous echo of an empty stomach that you’re afraid to fill. Either way, you’ve become a slave to food and it’s now the boss of you. Here’s the good news: it’s not too late to take it back. Start your day with a healthy breakfast, control your portions, prepare and eat three meals a day adding fiber and fat to help keep you fuller longer.
The industry wants you to believe this is hard and complicated and you need a personal chef to do it. That’s nonsense. You have what it takes. Starting today, you can take back your power, be the boss of your own mouth, and learn how to rule your food.