How can you promote healthy eating without becoming obsessive?

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Identify one food behavior that you have observed that may be extreme. What could be done to improve the behavior? A habit that I have noticed while being a student athlete is the excessive amount of protein shakes an athlete would consume. After each workout and lifting session an athlete was given a water and protein shake. This does not include the other protein shakes that were consumed prior or after each work outs. The mentality of most of the athletes on my team was the more protein the better. They would have shakes three meals a day and that is all they would consume generally. Most of them noticed headaches, increased bowel movements, cramps and no desire to eat other foods. Consuming too much protein can cause all of the things mentioned previously

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Here are three things you can do instead of counting nutrients to ensure the best food for your body is making its way onto your fork:

1. Ask yourself, “How will I feel in an hour?”

Think of your energy, your belly, your mind and the conversation you have with yourself. Will it be full of accolades for health-supportive choices,or judgment and guilt for a choice you didn’t want to make? We can learn to determine which foods feel energizing and which ones make make us need to nap. In doing so, you start to find the individual recipe for your body.

2. Listen when your body tells you what it wants.

Check in with all of your senses before you make a decision. The body has many avenues to communicate what it needs and if we take a moment to listen to its messages, we can more easily give it what it needs.

No counting grams of macronutrients or RDA’s of vitamins. When you allow it to, your body will guide you to what it needs from real food. It just takes practice to hear and respond to what it says.

3. Look at the colors of your food across.

Do you see a variety or are your plates monochromatic? That rainbow means a variety of nutrients, no counting or calculating required.

When it comes to choosing foods, focus on what feels great in your body. Because we’re designed to desire and use real food, the vitamins and minerals will naturally follow as long as you take the time to listen in.

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Here are some examples of unhealthy eating transformed into being healthy-ish.
Unhealthy: Eating some chips or a piece of cake and worrying about how it’ll keep you from your health, weight, or fitness goals.
Healthy-ish: Having a handful of chips or a piece of cake every once in a while and going on your merry way, knowing that it’s all part of a healthy diet. NO GUILT.
Unhealthy: Lucky Charms every day for breakfast.
Healthy-ish: Eggs and homefries on Sundays because you’ve eaten a healthy breakfast all week anyhow.
Unhealthy: Slamming margaritas and eating nachos by the pool every day, all day, on your week-long vacation.
Healthy-ish: Enjoying a margarita and some chips every other week while you’re at dinner with friends.

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