I think that the biggest change in my life in recent years has been my weight loss. In all honesty, it’s probably even bigger than the breast cancer, because it’s now a constant part of my life and has necessitated the most lifestyle changes. Losing the weight has meant completely changing the way that I approach food.
Right now I still focus on counting calories. Maybe someday I’ll be able to get away from that, but for right now it is what works. Now keep in mind, I don’t count them obsessively, and I also don’t fret about counting them if we’re at a party or something.
For me food currently falls into 4 categories: eat a lot of, okay in moderation, good for an occasional splurge, not worth it.
Things like vegetables fall into the eat a lot of category – though not all veg. I do tend to eat a lot of veggies and the key to remember with them is to limit the butter and oil. A cup of broccoli that’s been steamed is going to be a lot different than a cup of broccoli that was sautéed in butter. These are also the foods that I reach for the most throughout the day. They form the basis of my meals, and are what I reach for as a snack. Low calorie rice cakes and popcorn are also in this category. As are seaweed snacks.
Foods that I tend to eat, but watch how much I eat, are things like starches and meats and some sweets. One of the decisions that I made early on was that I wasn’t going to cut out any food group. I don’t eat a lot of carbs, but I eat carbs. I eat meat or fish every day. I also have cheese and ice cream. The key is moderation and choosing the best of something. Take steak for example. If I want steak (and hey, it’s what’s for dinner tonight), I choose sirloin as it is leaner and still really darn tasty, and I make sure to have a small piece – 5 or 6 ounces. I will have ice cream a couple of nights a week as a snack, but I make sure to get good quality ice cream (or frozen yogurt) and only have a scoop.
Finally the foods that are just not worth it. This is going to be different for everyone. For me, the first thing that pops into mind is pizza – greasy, take-out pizza, that is comforting while you eat it, but makes you feel so yucky afterwards. Now don’t get me wrong, good quality pizza, is a worthwhile splurge, but it has to be really good. A fast food hamburger wouldn’t be worth it for me, but a burger at an amazing burger restaurant would be.
How do you look at food? Do you count calories, avoid certain foods? Let me know in the comments below.