Crowding out foods

Foods in balanceThe first thing peo­ple do when they decide they need to go on a diet is start to think of all the foods they can’t eat any­more.  We usu­ally form it in our minds like that, too.  “This food has to go for­ever.  I bet­ter get as much as I can right now.”

We believe that the food is the sole cause of all this weight.  “If only I could stop eat­ing xyz, I could lose weight.”

It is not long before a depri­va­tion mind­set begins.  We start to think of all the things we can’t have, aren’t good for us, “oh, yeah.  I ate a bag of those yes­ter­day.”  In real­ity, any expert in food or nutri­tion is going to tell you that you can eat what you want, you just have to use moderation.

We, as American’s, aren’t so good with this con­cept of mod­er­a­tion.  We want it all, we want it now and we don’t think there is enough to go around.  So we bet­ter get it while we can. This adds to our grow­ing obe­sity con­cerns in this country.

Another, more mod­er­ate, approach is crowd­ing out “unhealthy” foods.  Crowd­ing out foods is a tech­nique that starts with putting healthy foods into your meals to make less room for the foods that don’t pro­mote health.

Fill up on whole grains, fruits and veg­eta­bles before you reach for the some­thing you might regret.  There is no man­date that you don’t eat potato chips.  Have potato chips if you life.  Just have an apple, car­rot sticks or oat­meal first.  When plan­ning your meal make sure to have lots of veg­etable options to put on the plate along with the mac­a­roni and cheese you love.

Each choice to eat a whole food before a processed food takes you one step closer to eat­ing bet­ter. The depri­va­tion is gone because you don’t need to stop your­self from eat­ing what you love.  You are only adding to your food and mak­ing less room for a day of eat­ing poorly. As you crowd-out the unhealthy choices and eat them less, you might even find they aren’t as sat­is­fy­ing as they once were.

Change one meal at a time.  Put a pile of salad on your plate next to your pro­tein.  You will get your greens along with the rich­ness of the meat.  You feel sat­is­fied and get your needs met. Chang­ing how you eat hap­pens one choice at a time.  What are you choos­ing to eat today?



  1. says

    Hi! This seems to be to be a half-solution, if any­thing. If you want to be hon­est with your­self about your diet, it’s a hor­ri­bly wrong approach if you try to jus­tify eat­ing junk food. Junk food is junk food — doesn’t mat­ter how many cel­ery sticks you had with your Dori­tos. Mod­er­a­tion is keen, I deeply agree, and it’s fine to have some­thing “junky” every now and then to sat­isfy the crav­ing, but you shouldn’t go about and try to jus­tify them. Let’s not lie to our­selves, people!

    • says

      Rose­mary, I try not to take such a staunch view of food. In my expe­ri­ence with coach­ing peo­ple, the moment you make food bad it becomes the most desired treat. My clients have suc­cess­fully elim­i­nated junk food crav­ings with this tech­nique. I try not to be dog­matic and make peo­ple wrong for their food choices. We are all try­ing to make changes.
      Theresa recently posted..Get Fit! Health Aware­ness Give­away EventMy Profile

  2. Belinda H. says

    I am very moti­vated to go on a diet now because of this post. Thank you very much for uplift­ing my spirit. What’s the health­i­est group of food to eat for breakfast?

    Belinda H. recently posted..How To Pick Up GirlsMy Profile

  3. says

    Love this post! I have been work­ing on eat­ing bet­ter and I replaced not eat­ing much of a break­fast to eat­ing yogurt or fruit in the morn­ing. Its yummy and helps! Thanks for the awe­some post!
    Ash­ley T recently posted..I need your recipesMy Profile

  4. says

    Great post! I agree. Sev­eral years ago when I switched to eat­ing healthy, I allowed myself one cheat snack at the end of every day. Then the snack became once a week. Now I find its once every sev­eral MONTHS now. Why? Because I LOVE healthy food & don’t need the junk now. :)

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