Making better nutrition choices is an excellent way to improve your metabolic health, mental health, and satisfaction at meals. But when you start researching theories and best tips about which foods to eat or how often, nobody seems to agree!
Even though the suggestions are meant to be helpful, they can feel restrictive and a little heartbreaking. Who wants to live a life without enjoying bread ever again?
It is possible to build a diet that helps you feel your best and includes your favorite foods. The all-foods-fit philosophy is an approach to eating that comes from the “everything in moderation” mindset. You will love this approach to eating if you’re ready to add more foods to your diet instead of eliminating them.
All Foods Fit Philosophy
Several factors influence your daily food choices. The most obvious one is to provide the body with calories, which your body uses for energy. Food also contains essential vitamins and minerals that prevent illness and help your vital organs function properly.
Other factors might be:
- Improve metabolic parameters, including blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and blood pressure.
- Enjoy a traditional dish that is served at important milestones.
- Opting for the fast and easiest dish to make on a busy weeknight.
- Trying a new cuisine or ingredient.
- Nostalgia strikes, and you start missing your favorite childhood dish.
Following an 80:20 guideline can help put this approach into practice. 80% of your meals should be nutritious and optimized for health, and the remaining 20% can be reserved for more indulgent items. Many dietitians agree that feeding your soul is as important as fueling your body!
To Achieve An All Foods Fit Diet, Strive for:
Eat for health, but also eat for pleasure. Creating balance in your diet can help you build a sustainable plan you’re excited to follow. Depriving yourself of foods you love can make you crave them more, and it can be harder to stop eating when you finally have them.
Adding variety to your diet is essential for your health. It gives you better chances of satisfying all your nutrient requirements and keeps meals interesting! Actively rotate your weekly menu to avoid eating the same dishes all the time.
Think about your entire diet and food intake throughout the day. It’s unlikely one meal could derail all the other health-promoting nutrients you’ve already consumed. Keep your portion sizes moderate and focus on enjoying every bite.
Strategies to Make All Foods Fit
Everyone has different priorities for making changes to their diet. Some people are motivated to make better choices to improve metabolic parameters, such as lowering blood sugar levels or cholesterol. Other people may focus on non-clinical outcomes, such as feeling more in control of eating habits during meals. Sometimes you want both! Below are some strategies to help you achieve that.
Get Back in Touch With Your Hunger and Fullness Cues
Everyone could benefit from getting familiar with their hunger and satiety cues. Your hormones send biological signals to tell your brain if you need food or have had enough. Unfortunately, a fast-paced lifestyle filled with distractions has made it very hard for Westerners to tune into these cues.
How to recognize these signals:
- How does your body feel when hungry? If you have a headache and stomach pains, you may have waited too long to eat. In this scenario, you may have missed a hunger cue. Arriving at your meal very hungry can increase the chances of overeating.
- What about after eating? Feeling like you could burst or experiencing extreme fatigue can be signs you have overeaten. Here, you may still need to catch your satiety or fullness cue. Slowing your eating and eliminating distractions (no screens) can help you better tune into your fullness cue.
Behavior changes at meals, like slowing down how quickly you eat, can be very helpful in recognizing satiety signals. Hormones, outside of your behavioral control, also play a role. Ghrelin is a hormone that signals hunger. When you are full, leptin is released, and your appetite naturally goes down.
Underlying medical conditions can interfere with these ghrelin and leptin responses, making it very challenging to know when you are hungry or full. Follow up with your doctor to be properly assessed if you have obesity, mood disorders, prader-willi syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, or an eating disorder.1
Avoid Labeling Foods
To fully embrace an all-foods-fit lifestyle, and you must avoid labeling foods as good and bad. Every food has some value to offer, whether it is nutritional or not. The all-foods-fit philosophy recognizes that being happy at meals enhances the entire experience. It promotes joy!
If your next thought is, “Does that mean I can eat ice cream every day? It brings me joy,” not so fast, friend. Remember, a key component of all foods fit philosophy is moderation. You may be surprised that by removing restrictions from your diet, the novelty wears off, and you end up craving them less.
Here are some helpful reminders to save for a rainy day:
- I choose to eat the foods I love because they bring me joy.
- My body is powerful and has the tools to break down all foods.
- I want to eat carbohydrates because they help me feel energized after eating.
- Fruits and vegetables are important because they help me stay healthy.
- Restricting foods can make me crave them more.
Nourish Can Help
Restrictive diets are grueling and hard to maintain. They don’t deliver many of the promised health benefits, and it can be mentally draining to battle with food rules constantly.
A different approach would be to focus on all foods fit philosophy. This type of eating can be brand new for some people, and you might benefit from some help to get started. A registered dietitian specializing in emotional eating can help you build a strategy to works for your lifestyle.
Nourish has a team of registered dietitians who are all expertly trained and covered by insurance. Click here to get in touch and book an appointment today.
- Yeung AY, Tadi P. Physiology, Obesity Neurohormonal Appetite And Satiety Control. [Updated 2022 Nov 20]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-.
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