Here at Z-CoiL, we’re all about being healthy. We want people to live their best so they can stay strong and active. And we believe in capitalizing on all the scientific knowledge available today to figure out how to take care of ourselves in the best ways possible. After all, our footwear has been engineered and proven by rigorous testing to reduce impact. And while we know staying active is a huge part of a healthy lifestyle, so is healthy eating!
All that responsible-sounding stuff said, food is just plain delicious, isn’t it? Man, nothing beats a good meal! Whether you prefer that special dinner your mom always made or the latest fusion cuisine to sweep the nation, good food is enough to distract any of us from our healthful intentions.
Sorry waistline, the taste buds are calling.
Not so Healthy Eating Habits
Snack foods are basically empty calories, but they’re so tempting and delicious that they are usually what we reach for to satisfy our food cravings. That’s just not fair. Why can’t we crave spinach or fruit?
Because snack food developers are evil geniuses, that’s why. They take all the science available about what humans crave during the eating experience, and they put as many of those elements as they can into their food product. Here are some of the primary elements of satisfying food:
- Contrast: human mouths like bites of food that have more than one texture in them.
- Saliva creating: ample saliva takes the taste of the food to every part of your tongue and hit every taste bud.
- Caloric satisfaction: Food that gives a body fast caloric fuel.
Millions of dollars in research has proven that if a food provides these things, we will eat it even though we know it’s unhealthy. And we will be back for more and more.
That’s Not Even a Little Bit Fair
True enough, but think of it this way: You can use those same tricks to improve your food-prep skills so that your healthful home-made meals deliver the same crave-ability the unhealthy foods do.
Learn how to combine your foods so they provide you with a nice taste blend of tastes and textures. Salt, fat, sweet, powerful, pungent, crunchy, smooth, creamy… You get the idea. Top your salads with toasted walnuts, dried cranberries, unsweetened banana chips, tangy goat cheese, plenty of olive oil, and a drizzle of your favorite vinegar.
Add slivered almonds to your steamed veggies, salt and cracked pepper to your tomatoes, muddled fruit and herb leaves to your water, cheese and nuts with sea salt to your fruit tray, and plenty of tasty dips to your raw veggies.
Other Handy Ways to Fool Yourself
- Use smaller dinner plates. Your plate will look full to overflowing even as you eat less.
- Eat slower and pay attention to you what you’re eating. This will give your taste buds time to enjoy what’s happening and gives your brain time to release the “I’m full” chemical before you devour three days’ worth of calories.
- Drink a glass of water before you eat. Often our bodies mistake thirst for hunger.
- Keep healthy snacks handy. Cheese, roasted nuts, sesame seeds, pieces of fruit, fresh vegetables with a filling dip to go with them.
- Keep your plate at least half full of fruits and vegetables. Go with what is at its seasonal peak so you always get the best flavors available.
Don’t Forget Quality
One of the strange things about eating poor quality food is that it leaves our taste buds happy now, but we are hungry again very soon. Why? Because we haven’t fed our body’s needs for real nutrients. Eat as many whole foods as possible to make sure your body is getting the vitamins, minerals, fats, and fiber it needs.
Your body will thank you by feeling full longer and having steady energy.
Cheat a Little
Seriously, don’t fuss over every calorie. You want pizza, eat a slice of pizza. You have a craving for pasta or fried chicken, eat some. Every meal doesn’t have to be a shining example of the power of healthy eating. Indulge your taste buds with what you love once in a while. Enjoyment is what life is about.