Too often we put food in our baskets because the packaging looks good and/or because it tastes good. What I want you to understand is this simple, yet powerful concept that you have to carve in a stone tablet and look at everyday: USE FOOD FOR FUNCTION, NOT ONLY FOR PLEASURE. Read this twice and let it sink in please.
Food is a wonderful thing because it conveys emotions and triggers powerful reactions in our brain. We have an emotional bond to the food we like and this very feature could prove problematic for people who need to lose weight, because they almost instinctively resort to the food they like whenever a problem occurs thus making the fat loss process more arduous than it should be.
That’s why I say that you must distance yourselves from the emotion (pleasure) that certain food items give you (ice cream, bakery, fat dishes) and start to look at food as a tool that you use to reach a particular goal.The perfect example is the diet of serious (hardcore?) bodybuilders. What they do might be a little extreme for the everyday person but it truly embodies the concept of food for function.
Bodybuilders don’t crave sugar or fat, they crave protein because they know protein will help them become stronger and bigger. I’ve seen bodybuilders eat grilled chicken for breakfast, then three hours later drink a protein shake, then have more chicken with tons of vegetables for lunch and repeat this protocol until before they go to bed. They eat that because it provides them with X calories from protein, Y calories from carbs and Z calories from fat. It’s all calculated and emotionless. It’s functional. This leaves all “sentimental” bonds out of the picture. I use to ask a few competing bodybuilders if they really enjoy themselves eating the same food year round. A few of them said yes, because it made eating easy and predictable but most of them replied “no, I don’t like it but I do it because it serves to goal I’m trying to reach.”
In this regard, you should mimic what bodyduilders do. I don’t say you need to do it year round, I don’t say you can’t have a cheat meal here and there or enjoy a piece of pie occasionally. What I say is you need to look at food as a tool that you use to achieve your desired weight with minimum hassle.
Inform yourself, start to read food labels, take the time to compare similar products and see what’s behind marketing stunts like “fat free” cornflakes. In no time, you’ll become aware of what’s going on in the food industry and how to avoid common pitfalls when shopping. When you buy a piece of meat, choose a lean one not because you like it (I know you’d rather have one with some fat in it, tastes way better) but because it will help you reach your goal.
Do the same with every item you put in your basket and you’ll see that while your wallet will feel lighter, your body will reward you with clean arteries, reduced waistline, increased life expectancy etc… The benefits of eating right are just endless.
Think of food, think of function.