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Do What Successful Eaters Do

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Picture It is possible to eat healthy in a food court- grilled shrimp with steamed vegetables and water * This is part of a year-long series called “52 Weeks to Eating better than Ever”. Click on the side bar for more information and to read the previous essays.
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“Aut inveniam viam aut faciam” – Find a way or make one.  – Latin Proverb
 
Do you feel good?  
 
Do you have the energy to go to work, take care of your family, enjoy your free time?
 
Are your numbers checking out?
 
If so, you are probably on the right track.  People that obsess over every little dietary thing, day in and day out, year after year are a little annoying to me.  They make healthy eating into a religion.  I like to eat healthy, exercise, and learn as much as I can about wellness, but there is more to life than turning every single food choice into a major moral question.  Insufferable! Waiter…. the check, please.  
 
Instead of making food a miserable and self-righteous subject, we should simply do what successful eaters do. 
 
But the question is how do we do that?  -By defining for ourselves what “success” is to us.  And by the way this could be applied to a lot of things in life.  
 
I have pretty low bodyfat, but I don’t care about being “ripped”. I’m just not interested and I would rather enjoy the occasional bowl of ice cream, or chips and salsa. Success to me is eating foods that are healthy, taste good, and keeping my bodyfat below 10%, while also eating enough to give me the energy to do all the things I want to do.  I also try to eat local, and recycle what I can.  I go for good, and not perfect.  What about you?
 
If you play a sport like football, you may need to eat a lot and extra weight might help you.  
If you want to look good in a swimsuit, your goals are completely different.  Mountain climbers and stay at home moms can and should have dramatically different diets.  
 
What are your goals? What is a place you can be happy with? Get there and then stop worrying too much about things you can’t control.  Eating well is only a means to the bigger things in life that matter, which in a simple example might be the meal and company itself.  The bigger things for you might tie into eating, like family time, supporting local restaurants, farmers, and eating organic, or you may just want to be reasonably healthy and leave it at that.  
 
Healthy eating is a matter of habits.  Even if you eat fast food a few times a week, it’s not the end of the world.  There are ways around this too.  It’s best to slow down and cook food, and enjoy good company. But if you love your job, or are busy coaching, or teaching, or developing something like a business or a career, you may have to prioritize that and put serious meal planning on the back burner.
 
Successful eaters make their situation work for them.  
 
As it’s been said “Aut inveniam viam aut faciam- Find a way or make one.”
 
The relatively young active male can get away with eating a good bit more.   The older active male needs to pay more attention to empty calories. Every person and situation is different and you need to find what works for you.  Find someone who fits your:
 
Age- Junior, Middle, Senior
Sex- Male or Female
Current Fitness Level- Low, Medium, High
Activity Level at Work- Low, Medium, High
Lean Muscle Mass- Low, Medium, High
Body Type- Ectomoprh (skinny), mesomorph (athletic), endomorph (larger)
 
Study what those in your category do and who see good results in your specific category.  The general facts don’t ever change: eat for health, moderate calories, don’t eat carbs you’re not going to burn, and eat healthy fruits, vegetables, and fats, but what does change are the details.  Over your lifetime your hormones and body will change, and as you get older you will have to be more careful with what you eat, primarily because your lean muscle mass will decrease, at least marginally, no matter how hard you work.  
 
Eating should be fun, not drudgery.  
 
Do what successful eaters do, and enjoy the ride!

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Read next:  There is truth in wine- but be careful with alcohol.  
 
 

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