One of the first nutrition concepts I learned in training was that of crowding out. So I'll write a short post to explain how it works. It's quite magnificent!
The concept revolves around being mindful of what foods you keep in your house and choose off of menus so that the majority of what you eat is satisfying and good for you.
Why does this sound like it's NOT a revelation? Because it's not. Yet.
The concept of crowding out means placing things and arranging things that are good for you in a way that you are more likely to consume them before you reach for the things that are not so good for you (empty calories that don't do anything for you energetically and encourage weight gain and other systemic problems).
The brilliance of crowding out is that you don't have to give up your favorite foods. You just end up eating less of them because you find satisfying alternatives.
My boyfriend loves cheese, for instance. He's Swiss. This is non-negotiable. But the day I found out he loves cashews, I knew I could exercise this little trick in the house and passively affect his consumption a bit. I don't want to change him or his love for cheese. I don't want to tell him what to do. And I don't think cheese is bad in moderation.
But I think a bit less in his case would be a good change. So I started putting a bowl of cashews on the kitchen table. He'd walk by it and grab a handful. Then one day he said to me: "I've eaten so much less cheese lately!"
Do you see how this works? I have done this on myself for years. I actually gave up cheese a couple of years ago and crushed walnuts on salads instead of sprinkling cheese. My mouth and body experienced the same fatty pleasure with the walnuts.
What if I crave sweets? I have a tea with some stevia or honey first. I crave chocolate? I have a hot cacao made, again, with stevia.
Usually I just shoot for something a bit more reasonable and that satisfies.
We are not supposed to deprive ourselves of what we love. But sometimes it's nice to stock the fridge and cabinets with some alternatives that just might take the spotlight long enough to render junk food ... junky, empty, nonsense ... to be consumed in moderation.