Always Eat Dessert: Six Diet Tips You Won’t Mind Following!
When you want to eat a more nutritious diet and take care of your wellbeing, having the right mindset is half the battle. How do you make yourself choose carrot sticks over cake? Diet plans aren’t easy, especially when they deprive you of all the foods you love, so we’ve gathered the opinions of the best wellness experts around, to give you six smart, totally doable strategies.
1. Eat with your eyes first: According to Alice Waters, the owner of Chez Panisse, in Berkeley, California, and the author of In the Green Kitchen, ‘Presentation is important. Think of a farmers’ market: The way that vendors put produce in boxes and arrange the radishes is enticing. It’s an artistic experience.’ So, when putting together your own dishes at home, make it a sensory treat in more ways than one by creating that same visual seduction. Get inspiring with colours and arrangements of foods, as well as serving it on interesting cookware.
2. Don’t forget how bad you felt after the last time you wolfed down those chips: This is the practise of Michael Pollan, author of the every-bite-you-eat-counts bible Food Rules, who summons memories of his last foray into junk food to thwart unfortunate cravings. ‘When I don’t eat well, I don’t feel good, so it’s a self-reinforcing process,’ he explains. ‘The last time I ate a highly processed meal, I was up all night, thirsty from the salt and vaguely nauseated by the fillers and additives. On the other hand, when I eat real food, I feel good and get plenty of sleep.’
3. Get emotional about food: You probably already associate certain foods with emotional responses. Pizza might remind you of times you’ve shared one with friends, while nothing beats a tub of ice cream for the post-break-up blues. Try to make yourself see the emotional benefits of healthy food. David Kessler, a former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration and the author of The End of Overeating, asserts, ‘Training yourself to stop craving salty, sugary, and fatty foods can’t be a cognitive process alone; it has to be emotional, too. Once you activate that circuitry, you’ll be able to recognise that this desire for junk is simply your brain playing a trick on you. That realisation allows you to move on to better things to eat.’
4. Keep fresh, long-lasting foods in your fridge: Martha Rose Shulman, author of The Very Best of Recipes for Health, comments, ‘I get nervous if I don’t have a vegetable available to put on my plate, so I make sure to keep the sturdiest produce on hand: Carrots, red cabbage, bell peppers, and romaine lettuce all last for up to a week.’
5. Save the steak for dinner time: If your goal is to reduce the amount of red meat you eat, make protein more of a side dish than the main event. Mark Bittman, author of The Food Matters Cookbook, adds, ‘I eat a vegan diet until 6pm and then whatever I want for dinner. That can be an elaborate restaurant feast or a simple meal at home. There’s nothing wrong with eating steak or other rich dishes, as long as you’re eating plants most of the time.’
6. Always eat dessert: Yes, you read that right. Marlene Schwartz, the deputy director of the Yale Rudd Centre for Food Policy and Obesity, in New Haven, Connecticut, notes, ‘My kids can have one dessert every day. This is how we teach balance and moderation.’ Go on, I know it’s hard advice, but indulge yourself!