You used to love food and now what you eat is focused on losing weight or not gaining the weight you’ve lost back. And this takes the joy out of eating. These days making food choices is about going between:
- the food you want
- the food that helps you lose weight.
And even when you have the willpower to make the food choices that’ll help you lose weight, you don’t enjoy it. And you end up eating the food you want anyway and we all know where that leads… even more weight gain.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. In this post, I’ll share how you can use VAFs®, the trademarked healthy eating model I created, to help you make eating healthy easier.
You’ll discover how to create an eating plan that helps you enjoy some of the foods you love so you start losing weight now and of course keep it off!
Here’s what to do if you grew up eating a lot of carbs and you still love them!
If you’d prefer to start your day with bread for breakfast, have rice for lunch, and finish up with a carb-heavy dinner, all the “low-carb for weight loss” talk can leave you feeling like you have to go against your very nature to get the weight loss results you want.
But you don’t have to. Here are four steps you can take.
- Identify the carbs you love to eat
- Figure out which one of these carbs fall into the healthy carbs category (s – starchy vegetables and whole grains)
- Choose the right-sized carb portions even if you’re eating the unhealthy carbs
- And load up the rest of your plate with the right V (non-starchy Vegetables or Fruits) & A (Animal or Plant Protein) to fill you up
Here’s what to do if you’d love to continue to enjoy your traditional ethnic foods
I grew up in a Nigerian home with lots of spicy sauces (to go with my carbs) and lots of oil rich soups. This can be a hallmark of a lot of ethnic cooking that can leave you feeling like you need to let go of the meals you grew up loving just to lose weight. But you don’t have to.
Our cultures do have a some great options to offer in the way of healthy meals like:
- broth-based filling spicy soups like Nigerian Peppersoup and Vietnamese Pho,
- or veggie rich soups like Okro soup,
- and spicy delicacies like Chicken Vindaloo.
Instead of giving them up, you need to learn how to modify your favorite recipes to make them healthier and this is something I teach my clients to do as I did for my Nigerian clients with Ogbono on VAFs or Crustless Meat Pie. And I even show them how to do it for their own recipes.
But here are four steps you can use to start for yourself right now:
- Identify your favorite traditional ethnic foods
- Figure out what makes them unhealthy
- Identify what you can modify in the recipe to make them healthier
- Modify what you can and enjoy your ethnic meals in the right-sized portions
Here’s what to do if you have food sensitivities
With food sensitivities like dairy allergies or gluten sensitivities, your goal here should be to identify the foods you’re sensitive to so that you can then narrow in on the foods that you can eat.
I’m sure that this is something you already do and eating using any eating plan you choose, even the VAFs model shouldn’t change that in any way.
Here are the three concrete steps to take:
- Identify the foods you’re sensitive to
- Then figure out what that leaves you with to enjoy in your regular meals
- Use the VAFs model to make make the choices in the best way for your weight loss goals
Here’s what to do if you’d prefer not to eat meat or don’t want to eat any animal products
With being Vegetarian or Vegan, your primary drives will be to make sure you’re getting enough protein and you’re choosing the right carbs while eating a lot of veggies.
And while a lot of us assume so, being either a Vegetarian or Vegan doesn’t mean you can’t eat unhealthy, so you still need to pay attention to your food choices. I remember when I tried being a Vegetarian while feeding my omnivore husband and I ate sugary cereal for dinner more times than I care to admit.
But you’re reading this, so you’re definitely smarter than I am.
Here are some concrete steps to take.
- Increase your protein intake with Plant Protein (V) and unprocessed foods in all food groups for example – Brown Rice (s) has about 5 g of of protein per 1 cup serving
- Make sure you’re choosing the right carbs (s)
- And do blood work at least with your annual physical (everyone should do this really) to find out if you need to be taking any nutritional supplements
It’s time to take action
Today, I invite you to think through how you like to eat and identify what makes it different from all the diets you’ve tried before. The difference will usually help you understand why the diets you’ve tried didn’t help you get the lasting results that you wanted so you can move on to what will.
Use the steps I shared above to brainstorm how you can eat healthy in a way that you can still enjoy.
To do this, keep the VAFs model in mind and ask yourself… “can I see a way to enjoy my meals and still get:
- V (non-starchy Vegetables or Fruits) at every meal and snack?
- A (Animal or Plant Protein) at avery main meal
- F (healthy Fats) with my meals in moderation without having to fry my foods?
- the types of s (starchy vegetables or whole grains) that support the health and weight loss results I want to get long-term?”
Those answers will get you started, but to learn more about how to use the VAFs model to help you get more of the food you enjoy and get the weight loss results you want, go even further by getting the FREE Healthy Eating Made Easy Cheat Sheet.
What you’ll discover in the Cheat Sheet will help you start to apply the principles of VAFs to your unique food preferences so you enjoy your meals on the way to the weight loss results you crave. Click the button below to get started.