WHAT’S EATING HEALTHY?
I had been fat for 30 years. “Healthy Eating” was anathema, a curse in my pursuit of gluttony. Since 10 Oct 2015, I’ve increased my Knowledge Power through the 90 Day Challenge (watch video). This had led me to finally understand that EATING HEALTHY is not just eating vegetables and grass, and it helps me to save money on daily expenses too!
Here are 5 reasons why it’s cheaper to eat healthy.
COMMONLY HELD MYTHS
Since PM Lee kicked off the war on diabetes, heaps of articles have emerged that eating healthy is expensive. Many will cite the example of cost of wholemeal bread.
Truth is that a loaf of white bread in SG ranges from $1 to $2. And a wholemeal option starts from $2.50. Articles usually end up reinforcing the notion that healthy foods are more expensive. But does Healthy Eating only refer to eating these expensive stuff?
HEALTHY EATING #1 : EAT MEALS, NOT SNACKS
When I was a kid in the 70s, potato chips was an “illegal item” to be surreptitiously eaten whilst hidden from the prying eyes of my mum, “Don’t eat that rubbish! I will cane you if don’t finish your dinner!”
I never realised what great advice that was! A bag of chips is equivalent to 40 slices of bread. Snacking had become part of our destructive lifestyle. A mid-morning snack of Tim Tams ($2) after breakfast, a granola bar ($1.50) and a cup of milo ($1.20) to keep hunger at bay after lunch, a slice of cheesecake ($3) for after dinner dessert and how about a bowl of instant noodles ($0.50) before bed? Total cost : $8 and about 1200 Calories. First thing about Healthy Eating is to save money by kicking the snacking habit!
HEALTHY EATING #2 : EAT OUT OF HUNGER NOT HABIT
When was the last time you ate out of hunger and not habit?
Calories and budget aside, the real damage to our bodies is that snacking damages our ability to feel “full”. Our bodies regulate the sense of hunger and fullness (or satiety) through a hormone called leptin. Frequent food intake causes leptin to be frequently secreted and our brain centres of satiety gets “numb” to it. In other words, we will find it hard to feel full when our brain becomes Leptin insensitive.
The food industry had created in us an unhealthy phobia of hunger. It had pretty much conditioned most of us to develop a paranoid aversion to hunger. Is that a good thing?
Going one step further than my mom, I now allow my 10 year old to sometimes skip a meal in order to experience hunger. Why not? There is absolutely no negative health implication to skip a meal from time to time as long as it doesn’t a negative lifestyle habit that leads to daily irregular meals. Removing the hair trigger stimulus to snack saves not just our money, but our lives!
Eat when hungry. That’s a good place to start. If not hungry, go ahead and skip that meal.
HEALTHY EATING #3 : CHEAP ALTERNATIVES
Granola bars, Caesar Salad, Salmon Sashimi.. some of the “healthy foods” choices that will break our wallet. So only the rich can be lean? Truth is that obesity is NOT a condition caused by poverty. Rather it is caused by IGNORANCE. Here’s a suggestion for daily alternatives in Singapore!
Breakfast $2.50 : 2 eggs and coffee without sugar. The average Singaporeans breakfast of Nasi Lemak or Bee Hoon will totally mess up your calorie intake for the If you plan to lose weight, stick to a cup of black coffee and 2 eggs or even 3 for breakfast! And no, eggs does not increase your cholesterol. That’s a myth that had been pushed by the sugar industry for the last 50 years, and its just been debunked.
Lunch $3 to $4 : Amazing thing about a breakfast like that is that after a couple of days, you will lose your craving for a heavy lunch. So what’s some healthy options for a healthy, but low cost lunch? Yong Tau Foo without noodles, Fish Soup without rice, Economy rice on a bed of extra cabbage ($4.50). But my personal favourite – AVOCADO JUICE without sugar.
Dinner 2kg of chicken for $12!– Learn to use the oven! No time? Really? Lazy more like.
But like all good things, a bit of effort will go a long way. Learning to cook helps our minds release serotonin in your brain, and not just dopamine. It leads to happiness, not just pleasure.
Alternatively, If really have to eat out, there is always 1/4 grilled chicken at Nando’s at $6 – only about 300 Calories.
Go for it!
HEALTHY EATING #4 : ELEPHANT IN THE DRINK STALL
Fresh Orange juice. Healthier option to Coke? $2.50 a glass vs $1.10.
Like ignorant natives demanding 50 glass beads instead of 10 in exchange for our farms, we fail to realise that a serving of freshly squeezed orange juice contains heaps of sugar as well! Both are equally adept to messing up our insulin levels.
What’s the super cheap alternative?
WATER!!! Save your health, save the environment and save your friends!
Coke just invested $79m in a distribution facility in Asia. It needs to recover its cost and it will push its agenda to promote artificially sweetened drinks, vending machines etc But what’s really good for you? Yes, Water.
HEALTHY EATING #5 : EAT THE WAY WE SCRATCH AN ITCH
We don’t scratch ourselves all the time. We scratch only when there is an itch. Yet, as a grossly overweight person, I craved food all the time, and the more I ate, the more I craved.
Here’s the hack. We scratch only when we itch. But we eat for a lot more reasons beyond hunger. We eat because it’s fun. We eat because its social. We eat because THE ANTICIPATION OF EATING is as gratifying as EATING ITSELF! This sense of anticipation is what makes us feel life is worth living!
Why not find a way to END the process of eating, rather than to SUPPRESS the anticipation of eating. We stop eating for the same reason as why we stop scratching. The need is fulfilled! The 7-letter word that will stop us eating and not feel deprived.
Are there strategies with which we can arrive at SATIETY without stuffing ourselves?
- Eat Slowly. The French eschew fast food. You can even choose to chew 32 bites per mouthful to really savour your food.
- It takes 20 mins for the food we put in out mouth to hit our blood stream to give us a the sense of satiety. Just eat slowly and you will be surprised that small portions will make you feel as full as a massive meal.
- Here are other strategies to eat in order to feel full without stuffing ourselve.s