Pasta is good for energy, but carbs make you gain weight.
Meal replacement shakes are great options on the go, but don’t drink your calories.
Is anyone else confused about what to eat, what not to eat, and which way is up?! Add to the chaos the fact that portion sizes and recommended calories are definitely not tailored to fit a tall woman’s needs, and you may be like almost every other woman out there with her hands up in defeat.
Let me first assure you by saying that you are not alone in your frustrations with nutrition guidelines and what the “best” diet is. In fact my mom (6’2”!) is a dietitian, and she admits that this stuff can be confusing! Nutrition is a relatively new science, which means that standards are constantly evolving with the new research.
Before I ruffle some feathers or seem like I’m trying to convince you to binge eat McDonald’s hamburgers in frustration, I want to let it be known that I firmly do believe healthy eating to be one of THE MOST important things you can do for yourself.
I’ll go ahead and state the obvious, but healthy eating does make you feel better. It also increases your life expectancy, helps manage your weight, slows aging, and prevents a lot of major diseases. You know what else healthy eating does? It acts as your very own self-love practice!
Emotional eating expert Geneen Roth always says, “Your world is on your plate”, and she couldn’t be more right. How you feel about yourself, your relationships, and your career is all reflected in the food you put in your body. Next time you have an uncontrollable desire to binge eat Dove chocolates, I encourage you to ask yourself, “What’s the real reason behind this?” Conversely, when your self-love and confidence tank is full, notice how much easier and enjoyable it is to eat a balanced meal without that extra helping of dessert. (Notice I said extra helping — you can still have the first one.)
While working on loving yourself is always well and good, that still doesn’t change the issue we discussed earlier. What the heck are we supposed to eat?! If there is one thing I learned in my own life and in working with clients, it’s that one person’s food can be another person’s poison. What do I mean by that? Essentially it’s so easy to get caught up in other people’s weight loss or health success, especially if they’re friends or family, but that doesn’t mean their method is best for YOU. I say this because I once put myself on a juice cleanse all my other health-coaching friends were on, and I actually passed out from exhaustion!
While it may be tempting to jump in on the latest health fad — whether it be Paleo, gluten-free, or some sort of meal replacement shake — I want you to first re-evaluate your own food choices. Take some time to identify what you’re eating now, how it makes you feel (physically and emotionally), and try to come up with your own plan of action first. Intuitively, no one knows your body better than YOU, and often we aren’t taught to connect our mood and body with our food choices. It could, however, be that simple! Experiment, reflect, and experiment some more to find what works best with your unique needs. As we all know as tall ladies, one size never fits all, and that goes for health programs as well!
As you begin experimenting, there are a few pieces of advice that I will leave you with to get you started on your very own health journey:
- Real food is always better. I’m not hating on shakes, but learning to actually cook your meals from scratch and allowing your body the experience of enjoying a meal allows you to build healthy long-term habits. **Confirmed with my mother**
- Don’t put things in your body you can’t pronounce. If you have no clue what an ingredient is, odds are your body won’t either!
- Shoot for 5 ingredients or less. Packaged food has so many added artificial colorings, flavor enhancers, and preservatives. The better-for-you packaged options typically have a short list of ingredients.
- Keep an eye on your sugar intake. Excessive sugar consumption is linked to weight gain, insulin resistance, and heart disease. Rule of thumb: 4g = 1 teaspoon of the white stuff. According to the World Health Organization, we should consume 25g (6 teaspoons) per day or less. Many drinks, “healthy” bars, and cereals have this amount in 1 serving!
Here’s to your health and happiness ☺
If you loved these tips and want more ways to feel healthy – mind, body, and spirit – check out my Tall Girl’s Guide to Confidence! It’s my top 10 steps I used to totally ditch insecurity and step into my happiest life. Enjoy!