Your Thoughts and Your Food
“Watch your thoughts, they become words; watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become character; watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.” Frank Outlaw
Unlike animals humans eat for many reasons other than for survival; some of us eat our weight in cake to celebrate with our friends, some eat ice-cream to treat heartbreak, some get bored and inhale a packet of chips accidently while watching the footy (I definitely should have taken the time to make kale chips instead http://allrecipes.com/recipe/baked-kale-chips/ ), we use it as a drug, we use it as a tool to make people like us, as a way to keep us going at work when we want to be at home. Food is can be both amazing and disappointing, taste amazing or disgusting, it can give your health or take it away, take you to the goal you want or away from it.
There are many positive reasons to enjoy great food, in the fitness world, we often make food seem evil or bad for us, but right here I want to stand up for great food. We can have amazing tasty food and be healthy, ill rephrase that we MUST have amazing food and be healthy. It makes life enjoyable.
That said if you want to get your body to a certain place we need to be accountable to our goals and make decisions how to get us there, looking long term to our goal and then make better short term meal choices to make healthy meals tasty and take care of our short term foody wants. I’ll explain more shortly but first I’ll go through the reasons we eat and where they stand on the timeline.
Short Term response- The next 20 minutes
This is where we look to satisfy hunger and control blood sugar but it can also be where we make decisions based on emotion or social pressure. We are looking to eat tasty meals, sometimes that we can enjoy with our family and friends, and foods that feel good.
Energy between meals- The next 20 minutes to 6 hours
Each meal will have a response in the way is gives you energy or makes you feel over the next few hours until you need to eat again. Foods higher in fibre, carbohydrates with a lower glycaemic index or meals higher in proteins will usually make you feel fuller for longer with enough energy between meals. This is an individual experience as everyone can have different responses to meals but finding meals that help us play and perform both mentally and physically should be our goal here.
At a basic cellular level food creates and repairs your body, the phrase “we are what we eat” is fairly close to the mark. Making sure you consume enough nutrition from your food (not just energy) goes a long way to helping us stay healthy long term and feel better in the short term. How much body fat we have is mostly a reflection of the energy balance (calories ingested vs used) over our lifetime
Health First- Question- Is there enough nutrition in this meal to help my body and mind function properly?
Appearance goal second- Question- Will this meal help me achieve or maintain the body I want.
Flipping it around
Now instead of thinking short term we can flip it around to get a better result….
For each meal you choose first think about:
- Nutrition dense foods for optimal physical and mental performance
- Energy density of the food- can you get more nutrition with less calories if fat loss is your goal or a good amount of both nutrition and calories for muscle gain
- The right balance, amount and type of meal to make you feel good and perform well for the next 4-6 hours
- Now if we do these things we can learn to choose and create tasty, social and fulfilling meals that still help you stay healthy and get the look you want
Here is my favourite- Banana Ice Cream
Brett MacPherson | Health and Fitness Coordinator
UNSW Fitness and Aquatic Centre
P.S. exercise and resistance training increases your capacity to manage your weight and enjoy great food. Contact us now and take advantage of our semester break offer for only $99.00 for more information go to www.ymcansw.org.au/promotion/unswpromo/ , contact us on 9385 4881 or email us at Reception.UNSW@ymcansw.org.au