When I was studying nutrition at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition we were taught a really simple but incredibly effective tool to help ourselves and our clients. It’s called CROWDING OUT. The theory is to focus on adding in as much nutrient-dense food as possible so that there is less space and desire for the crappier food choices which we can all be tempted by.
DIETS DO NOT WORK
At least not in the long term. If you put yourself on a strict regime of a thousand calories or no carbs than of course you are bound to lose weight … for the time that you have the will power to keep it up. And then… inevitably … the restriction becomes too great and you bounce to the other end of scale (literally and metaphorically) and binge on the food that you had denied yourself.
I know this because I have been there. It is not a happy place to be. My greatest wish when I’m working with my clients is to help them feel freedom from this thought process.To help achieve this I teach them the principle of CROWDING OUT. To focus on what they ARE choosing to consume, rather than focussing on restriction.
When we eat real food, full of nutrients, then our bodies work optimally, we are satiated and experience fewer cravings, mood swings, and energy crashes.
ISN’T THAT WE ALL WANT?
The key is that it’s about CHOICE, NOT DENIAL. Denial causes a ‘rebellion’ in the mind. It’s about asking what makes me feel good in mind, body, and spirit? What is the best choice I can make for myself in this moment?
So what foods give us the biggest bang for our buck in terms of nutrient density? VEGETABLES. You probably know it already… but do you actually eat enough veggies at every meal? Your plate should ideally be at least, if not more, 50% veggies of different colours with a combination of raw and cooked.