Too Late to Eat Well this Holiday?

A friend of mine says, “Most people worry about the food they eat between December and January; instead, they should worry about the food they eat between January and December.” Well said.

I don’t watch Dr. Phil, but I read part of one of his books on healthy eating. I couldn’t stand the “if you read this book and follow this plan, I guarantee you will succeed at eating well” attitude, but I did take away something that has helped me a lot. He said, “Stop eating before you feel full.” When I read that, I returned the book to the public library. I figured I needed a lifetime just practicing that part of the book, and I’ve been successfully using that principle ever since.

There is one more thing I have learned, this time from my previous life of having little to eat. If there is a buffet, I have to watch so that I don’t overeat. If you grow up with little food, when you see much, you tend to grab as much as you can. I had some friends who grew up lacking like I did, who would go to parties, eat until they were totally full, go to the bathroom, get rid of some of the food, and come back for some more. To help alleviate that, eat before you go to a party if there is a a buffet on the menu.

I know that everybody likes to repeat the old joke about being on a “seafood” diet — I see food, I eat it. Truth be told, though, there are many people who eat only because it is in front of them, not because they are hungry. That’s the reason the stores put all those “goodies” right around you when you are checking out.

So, after the party, don’t leave trays with leftovers hanging around and if you are in charge of storing food, make sure you use foil and not clear plastic. And, if you really want to be savvy, move the healthy foods toward the front of your fridge and the not so healthy ones toward the back — or better yet, just get rid of most of them. I say “most” because with moderation you can eat anything, except okra…

Finally, plan ahead. Knowing how much you plan to eat ahead of time helps you to know when to stop. It also helps you not to put more than one type of food on your plate at once. And if you are conscious about whether people are watching you eat, model your intake on the person who seems to be eating slowly and smartly. And if you are not conscious, maybe you should be. Trust me, I have heard comments people have made about my eating habits and they are not always complimentary.

Bible-believing Christians should be most concerned about eating well. I mean, the Bible does say that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, so you should ask yourself whether you would like to inhabit a land of diseased tissue, weakened muscles and morbid flesh (assuming you can do something about it). Well, if you wouldn’t like it, imagine the Holy Spirit…

So keep moving my friends. And don’t tell me that “round is a shape,” as another friend likes to joke, right after he says that he is in “good shape.”

Ivanildo C. Trindade