Updated: Mar 18, 2022
Eat to live, or live to eat? That is the question! When it comes to healthy eating practices, it is important to understand the difference between the two approaches to food, and what that means to you.
If you are eating to live, typically food is viewed as fuel to nourish your body and keep it running strong. As you dissect it even further, what you are eating, the portion size and the rate at which you consume your food are factors you will want to consider. The efficient, strongest food choices will have a dense nutritional value such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, seeds, turkey, fish, and lean cuts of meats.
Pay attention to your portions using these simple guidelines: 1 cup = baseball, 1/2 cup = lightbulb, 1 oz or 2tbsp = golf ball, 1 slice of bread = cassette tape, 3 oz of fish = checkbook. Consider the rate at which you consume your food. It takes approximately 20 minutes after you start eating for the message to stop eating to form and reach your brain. Slow down as you eat your food, take time to set your fork or spoon down and enjoy the taste of the food, and drink water in between each bite. Setting your silverware down will help to stop the continual fork/ spoon motion and allow you to savor and enjoy each bite.
Living to eat, food is viewed as something more than just fuel. It can mean comfort, family, friends, happiness, #lifestyle, or stress release. As food takes on greater meaning than #nutrients, you can start to run into challenges when it comes to food selection and portion control. Take, for instance, emotional eating. Food becomes a source of control for feelings and is used in a way to cope with #stress. The mindset of what you are eating and how much does not register and you lose your intuitive sense of hunger and satiety causing you to feel ravenously hungry or exceedingly full.
In the end, everyone is somewhere in the middle of these two categories. The most important key is being mindful and listening to your body's sense of hunger and satiety to have a healthy balance.