4th Key in Keys to Creating Peace with Food
A while back we looked at the plate model when learning about the meal planning process.
The 4th Key speaks directly to this by reminding us to balance our plate at each meal and snack. There is a lot of flexibility within the realm of balancing your plate. Regardless of where we are, what we are doing, who we are with…if it’s time to eat, it’s time to eat. In order to keep our bodies fueled so that we can function with maximum efficiency, we must provide the proper nourishment. For example, a balanced snack = a carbohydrate source (such as fruit, whole grains, vegetables) with a protein source (such as string cheese, deli meat, soy nuts). This delicate balance will stabilize our blood sugars, steady our energy levels, and keep us satiated until the next meal.
This Key is just as important when we are in a situation where it may not be realistic to plan very well, like a restaurant or when we’re on vacation. It is not uncommon to find ourselves looking down a restaurant menu questioning what would be the best choice for that meal. Using the above plate model as your guide, you will be able to identify menu choices that will help you to feel satisfied and fulfilled without compromising taste and social enjoyment. For example, you may choose a meal that will be higher in carbohydrates and lower in protein. Knowing how you want your plate to look, you ask for 1/2 the carbohydrate choice, add more protein, and order a side salad in place of the mashed potatoes or fries.
This method will help you to feel more in control of whatever food situation comes your way. It will not compromise your goals nor give room for feelings of deprivation. If you want a special food, this is how you fit it into your day. Find a place for it on the plate, balance out the remaining food groups, and move on.
If you are having a hard time with this process, write down the thoughts and emotions that come up for you. Then visit my January blog on emotional eating where I explain how to work through these thoughts. See you next week!