Discovered uniform eating yet? And no I don’t mean putting on a uniform before sitting down to the table to eat 🙂
I’ve been a uniform eater for years and often suggest it to others, so let’s take a deeper look at what exactly I’m referring to.
I eat basically the same meals every day and often suggest others consider doing the same. Some call this “uniform eating”.
It’s a convenient way to eat healthy and control calories without constantly counting. It also eliminates the need to plan meals every day. The key is to eat foods that you enjoy and foods that fill you up.
Some people way more famous than me recommend practicing uniform eating as well. For instance, the popular Drs. Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz recommend the same thing in YOU on a Diet (Free Press, 2006), their New Your Times bestseller. They call it “automatic eating,” and make it a cornerstone of their “waist management” program.
Catchy play on words, right?
Not having to stop and think all day long about what to eat is liberating. After all, if you’ve been reading my articles about habit change and brain fatigue from making too many decisions, you understand the power of freeing up some decision making energy during your day.
Naturally, the first step is to eat “good-for-YOU foods,” such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, chicken, and fish. On a balanced diet of those foods there is usually no need to count calories, grams of fat, carbohydrates, and protein. You’re covered nutritionally.
Eating a “good-for-YOU” diet of bulky and satisfying foods allows your appetite control mechanism to work by balancing the production of the hunger (ghrelin) and satiety (leptin) hormones.
In a properly functioning system these hormones complement each other. They tell you to eat when you need food and to stop when you’ve had enough. This works automatically; you don’t have to think. When you’re full you stop eating. The trick is to work with the system, not override it.
Eat the right foods (mostly whole, unprocessed foods) and your hormones will keep you feeling satisfied. When you eat calories from healthy sources you turn off the desire to eat by producing less ghrelin and more leptin.
Plan Your Meals
Start every day knowing when and what you’re going to eat. This automates your eating.
It may take a few weeks to plan and think about satisfying meals and snacks you enjoy. It will be time well-spent.
It’s a good idea to pick one meal a day to change up and have the same foods every day for all other meals. That’s essentially what I do. I have the same thing for breakfast and lunch every day and alternate my evening meals. I do have a few different meals during the day that I rotate between depending on my schedule.
Whether you are eating throughout the day so that you are constantly satisfied or practice intermittent fasting, the ideas are the same.
It’s also helpful to know how to gauge your hunger. Try gauging your hunger on a scale of one to seven (one being famished and seven being gorged). Try to stay in the three to four range at all times. We all know what it’s like to be both famished and gorged and neither of those two states is healthy nor comfortable.
Here’s the key takeaway message!
You can reboot both healthy eating AND the unnecessary thinking and debating about eating. Eat essentially the same meals for breakfast, lunch, and snacks, and change up options for dinner. By decreasing the variety of foods eaten throughout the day, you’ll decrease the chance for unhealthy eating to creep in and increase your brain’s freedom to focus on what matters besides eating.
And just so you know I’m not a total stick in the mud, I totally enjoy abandoning these “rules” from time to time, especially when I travel. No way am I skipping gelato in Argentina or ramen in Vancouver, B.C.
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