I almost named this blog Healthy Foodie because I’m as passionate about health as I am about great food. I’m always on a quest to find light gourmet dishes, particularly since my dairy/egg intolerance diagnosis. But the reason I’m lean or slim or skinny or however someone might describe me is not because I live on quinoa and bean sprouts (I don’t like either). Here are 10 simple tips for those of you who live to eat but like my friend Alpha Foodie have to limit the love to eat.
Look at the figures in your family My paternal grandmother was the lean one and my paternal grandfather was on the small side too. In other words my skinny genes are genetic. Foodies know there’s no point in giving up good food to achieve a goal that goes against DNA, that’s too much hard work. But you could take a look for a good role model, to remind yourself that if you cut down just a little your figure would be more like someone else’s in the family.
Eat according to how hungry you are when you are hungry Foodies are driven by the next meal, the next opportunity for a riot of tastes. Skinnies respond to hunger pangs. (One day I may have a huge bowl of porridge with soya milk and berries for breakfast, the next I might only be able to stomach a spoonful.) Foodies fantasise about the meals on their plates and their fantasies get out of hand. Skinny foodies match the size of their hunger to a vision: it could be the garlic bread and the biggest pizza and a salad, or it could be just the salad.
Rush around One of my neighbours says I’m like a rabbit, darting out of my door and then sprinting fast. It’s because I’m always running late but won’t be late. I move fast. Skinnies tend to be nervy types running about. They burn off energy. Foodies tend to be more laid back and slow which means they layer on the energy. Allow less time to walk anywhere even if it’s from your car to your appointment. Seriously!
And get up a lot Skinnies are fidgety and hyperactive types. Foodies are masters of lounging. The images that come to my mind are Ancient Greeks darting around the Agora lifting and shifting gifts for the Gods and then running around amphitheatres for fun vs Romans in languorous poses feasting and drinking.
Walk the view Outdoor types tend to be lean and what excites them is enjoying this beautiful planet of ours outdoors. There’s no need to take up cycling/running/scuba-diving/climbing but consider walking wherever you might be enjoying food, whether in cities or the countryside.
Leave food Picky fussy eaters are leaner. I’m not referring to closet dieters but people who will only eat what they really like and who are aware of what their gut responds to. A lot of foodies eat the dish that’s too rich even though they know they’ll have indigestion all night. My Fussy Foodie friend adores buttery food, but will not eat anything he deems to be slimy, chewy, and overly spicy; in a restaurant there are dishes he won’t choose because of one particular ingredient or herb. He doesn’t have a weight problem.
Work with your hormone levels Some people lose weight when they are stressed, and others pile it on. Which type are you? Our hormone levels affect how we process the energy we consume. If you gain weight under pressure then seek out ways to relieve stress: breathe, meditate, practise mindfulness, go to yoga classes, take up walking in nature, in short do something that involves your body and mind. There might be no need to diet or starve for two days a week or give up what you love if your mind has a diversion. Conversely the more stressed you become, the greater the likelihood of being prescribed medication with side effects that may include weight gain.
Carry food with you always I don’t leave home without a portable healthy snack and some fruit even though the streets of London are paved with foodie outlets. I need to know I can eat my own tasty, healthy food. I like chains like Itsu and Leon but what if I’m not near one? If you take the edge off your hunger with some fruit or nuts you’re less likely to dive in somewhere and order the gourmet burger with cheese, fries and salad with ranch dressing, and more likely to figure out what you really want to eat.
Move like a dancer Dancers have super lean bodies. Dancing helps to maintain the lean bodies. Even if you don’t have a natural slim framework dancing regularly is a joyous way to be active and burn off energy. Some of you are saying BUT you have two left feet. Dance when you’re doing housework, dance during TV commercial breaks, dance between episodes loading up on Netflix, dance when you wake up, dance when you’re brushing your teeth. Move like a dancer by considering the quality of your every movement. Make every step you take beautiful or happy or energetic. As foodies enter middle age they often shuffle slowly. Bring beauty and grace to your movements and this will lead you to move more.