Everything in moderation. It’s a mantra which never sounded more apropos than when discussing diet. Time and time again, it’s been proven that denying yourself certain food groups and overdoing others rarely leads to the desired dieting outcomes. And with ever more extreme diets making the headlines – did you see the one about living purely on air? – we think it’s important to highlight a more mindful approach to eating. With that in mind, here are 4 IDEAL steps to eating everything, in moderation.

PRACTICE MINDFUL EATING 

Mindful eating is a powerful tool to gain control of your eating habits. It’s all about being fully aware of the food that you are eating in order to take control of your diet and be able to exercise both enjoyment and caution in every part of the process. By incorporating elements of mindfulness and meditation into our dinnertime, not only will we avoid digestion issues, but we can also enjoy a whole new appreciation of the pleasures of both food and of life. Moreover, it can help one on a journey to weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight. We’ve written more about doing so over here; check it out!

PLAN YOUR MEALS AHEAD

One way our eating can get ahead of itself is through a lack of planning in terms of portion size. So many of us simply make a meal of the same size regardless of the amount of people we’re serving, whether that’s because we’re lazy to downscale a recipe, or we don’t have the range of cooking vessels at home required for a smaller sized helping. ‘We’ll freeze the rest’ we mentally note, knowing full well that the remainders will make a great midnight snack post pub. To negate this, use foresight and strategy to your advantage. Plan your portion sizes carefully – easily divisible into single meals, for instance – and resist the urge to devour the rest as a treat.

REPROGRAM YOUR YEARNING

It may sound simple, but buying less of the food you’re trying to limit in your diet is key to a moderate approach. Just as those who succumb too often to the temptation of booze try not to keep much in the house, avoid loading your shopping trolley with processed food and sweet things, so the temptation is never even there to resist. Instead, load up your basket with the good stuff; a mix of fruits and veg of different colours, plenty of nuts, pulses, oily fish and the odd protein. 

Of course, allow yourself the occasional treat (you’re only human) but once you’ve resisted the urge for a while, all that processed rubbish becomes repulsive, as if by magic. Instead, you’ll find yourself craving a plump cherry at the height of the summer season, or new season Bramley apple when winter rolls around, to satisfy your lust for something sweet.

ENJOY YOUR TREATS

That said, treats are meant to be enjoyed once a while, and doing things for pleasure is part of the fabric which makes us human, so don’t deprive yourself of them entirely. In doing so, you’ll create a craving which could otherwise be harnessed healthily. Because as everybody knows, we so often want what we can’t have. Instead, take control; put a limit on the amount of times you’re allowed to succumb to temptation each week, and stick to it. You’ll still get the thrill of ‘giving in’, but in a mindful, manageable way. 

On the flipside, did you know that ‘too much of a good thing’, although of course a pretty pertinent point, is actually damn difficult to achieve. Don’t feel any guilt about the odd snack, treat or diet misstep; it does actually take an awful lot of eating to send you down in one sitting. Our pals over at Ship It kitchen appliances have created the below infographic to shed a little more light on the subject. Check it out here!

 

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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.