So far the whole, “relaxed” approach to eating is actually going really well. I naturally lean towards healthy foods, but if I fancy a little bit of sugar or some cheese or other previously “unauthorised” food, I am able to eat it without guilt and without feeling like I’ve “blown it” (a mindset which typically leads to binge-eating). I naturally get hungry about 6 times a day, but I’ve found that my inclination is to eat three larger meals a day, with my snacks being much smaller than usual. I enjoy my main meals a lot more this way, as I’m hungrier by the time I sit down to eat them. It also gives me a little more freedom with regards to the foods that comprise my main meals. Since my snacks are smaller, the calories I save there can be made up for in the other meals, meaning I can use a bit of oil for frying, eat some full-fat products or leave the skin on my chicken without worrying! I’ve also had small amounts of dark chocolate here and there, and been perfectly satisfied with just a few pieces. Usually, one bite leads to me devouring the whole (100g!) bar, and then some! Seems like (for me, at least) the non-restrictive way of eating actually begets a higher level of self-control!
N.B. I am NOT counting calories, just winging it. Calorie-counting is not the kind of lifestyle I desire – perhaps if I was a figure competitor I would need to do so in order to reach my goals, but as it stands, I’m just an average girl trying to be healthy and happy.
One food I’ve reintroduced is Greek Yogurt. In South Africa, “Fat-Free Greek Yogurt” is non-existent – the only kind available is the full-fat kind, made with double cream! I look at it this way: the relatively recent introduction of low-fat alternatives has done nothing to prevent or remedy obesity in developed countries. I’m not saying that low-fat products make you fat (obviously), but rather that full-fat dairy (or other full-fat products) do not magically make a person overweight. Years of over-eating, inactivity, hormonal problems and/or psychological issues are the factors that lead to obesity. People have been eating full-fat dairy produce for centuries, yet obesity has become more of a problem in recent years. Thus, my breakfast this morning included some of that delicious, full-fat Greek Yogurt:
Extra-Thick Overnight Oats
- ¼ cup oats
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup milk
- ½ cup Greek yogurt
Night Before Add-Ins:
- Dried Fruit
- Fresh fruit
- Peanut butter
- Protein powder
- Cook the oats and water in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed.
- Stir in the milk and then the yogurt. Add your chosen night-before add-ins (some dried fruits are nicer if cooked with the oats). Place in the fridge overnight. In the morning, remove from the fridge and stir in your chosen morning add-ins!
I cooked some dried peaches in with the oats, and added a tbsp peanut butter, a tbsp golden flaxseeds and some sweetener in the morning. It was absolutely delicious – I could even have enjoyed it without any kind of sweetener.
Speaking of sweetener, this is something I am considering phasing out of my diet. It is extremely expensive, and I honestly don’t think that moderate amounts of sugar make you fat (actually, I know this to be true, as I have lost a lot of weight before whilst consuming quite a lot of sugar). Now, I don’t think that sugar is HEALTHY, and such, it’s not something I intend to abuse (and an excess of sugar can definitely cause weight gain). But I know plenty of people who enjoy moderate amounts of sugar and are fit, healthy and strong, with great bodies. So is it really necessary to spend all this extra money on sweetener? It can be great for baking, or in things that ordinarily use a lot of sugar, but my sweetener habit has gotten a bit out of hand – I use it in almost everything! In my breakfast, in coffee and tea (just because I can – I don’t even usually take sugar in my tea!), in baked goods (much to the disappointment of my husband, who dislikes the taste of sweetener). Before I started using sweetener, I was satisfied with far more savoury flavours. But because sweetener is something of a “free food”, I have used it to excess and thus developed more of a taste for sweetness than when I ate real sugar! It’s a habit I want to break – I’d rather eat small amounts of real sugar (or naturally sweet things like fruit), and get my taste-buds re-accustomed to the more subtle, natural sweetness that is present in all starchy foods.
Life is trial and error, and I am still learning!
Love and peace,