Unlike in today’s world, food was scarcely available to our ancient ancestors. The cavemen had to hunt and gather for their food and eat tiny scraps that were barely enough to survive on. Food was not consumed for its taste, but for the pure purpose of providing energy and life. A handful of berries, a few slimy bugs, or better yet, a bloody, fatty, raw morsel of squirrel meat was considered good eatin’ for the day. Hell, in my anthropology class about the ancient Aztecs, I learned that the most one human used eat in a day would be one tortilla… Imagine only eating one tortilla, and still having enough energy to hunt, swim, and battle for your tribe. Seems impossible, doesn’t it?
In the modern world, and especially in America, food is so easily available that it has become more like a mollifying, gluttonous drug rather than fuel for our cells. We treat food as an accessible mouthful of pleasure and temporary reinforcement, and take for granted the real reasons why our bodies need food. Sure, food is a simple way to gather friends and family, to celebrate the wonderful things that happen in our life, to be a distraction on awkward dates, and to be transformed into an art. However, if we learn to associate our eating habits with our primitive necessities for survival, food can no longer be our enemy.
Here are three things that you should STOP doing with your food:
#1 – STOP Counting Calories:
It’s not about how much we each, but about what we are eating. I mean seriously, if you eat 1,000 calories of broccoli compared to 1,000 calories of cookies, do you really think the effects on your body would be the same? Eating healthy grains like quinoa, fresh, raw vegetables, organic meats, and hearty nuts require no need to stress about the amount eaten. When eating nutritious, wholesome foods, you most likely will refrain from over-eating, and supply your body with enough energy to last for longer than you expected. Why stress about calculating calories, and indulging in a bucket of ice cream because you’ve “only had 600 calories today?” When you are blind to your calorie intake, you think less of how much more or less you can eat, and instead, listen to your body and eat only when you are truly hungry.
#2 – STOP Instagramming, and Start Being Mindful:
I know it sounds impossible, but shut off your phones, Ipads, computers, and yes, even the TV when you eat! Instead of blindly shoveling food into our mouths while watching something disgusting on Tosh.0, we should focus on what we are eating, chew slowly, and purely indulge in the brief moment that you are fueling your body. It’s ok to eat with another person, but be mindful of every bite you put into your mouth, revel in its texture, flavor, and aroma, and ask yourself the question, “am I full yet?” You may be surprised with your answer.
#3 – STOP Dieting:
When we deprive ourselves of the food that we love, we may find ourselves giving in and binging in return. Dieting is probably the most ignorant thing to do when trying to lead a healthy lifestyle. If you want to eat that pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, or 5 cookies and a glass of full fat milk Sunday night on your couch, alone, while watching a romantic comedy, DO IT! We must eat everything in moderation, and that does include rich brownies, greasy bacon, and cheeseburgers. Some people feel better about themselves when they buy the fat-free ice cream, but sometimes eat way more than they would full fat ice cream solely from the fact that there are fewer calories, and therefore, think that they can have more of it. Sometimes, when we eat full fat/carb/calorie foods, we tend to eat less of it and feel satisfied more quickly. As long as eating healthy is a usual habit for you, having a treat every now and then will not only keep you stress free and happy, but trick up your metabolism and keep off the pounds!
Eat like the cavemen—eat when you are truly hungry, be thankful and aware of the foods that you consume, and allow yourself to indulge at times. Listen to your body, eat wholesomely, and make food your friend.