As a Munchery customer, you’ve probably heard about our new Food Vision, which features award-winning chefs, wholesome, locally, and sustainably sourced ingredients, and full transparency in our process, from farm to fork. As Munchery’s dietitian, I’m thrilled to be a part of these changes—especially in helping to construct healthy, balanced meals that you can feel good about eating.
Are Hearty Portions Healthy?
You may have also noticed that we offer several dishes that are probably higher in calories and fat than your body needs for that one meal (of course, everyone’s calorie and macronutrient needs are different and depend on a number of factors, including age, gender, and activity level). But as a dietitian, I’m okay with that. One meal, barring any major medical concerns, isn’t going to make or break your diet or be the deciding factor in weight loss or health. In fact, even eating a few extra hundred calories beyond your needs will have a negligible effect on your weight. What matters is the overall context of your diet—the big picture.
Do or Diet
The word “diet” often brings to mind sad plates of flavorless chicken, steamed broccoli, and brown rice along with a heaping side of deprivation and calorie counting. But “diet” actually comes from the Greek word diaeta, meaning “way of life.” So in that sense, we all have a diet—and that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re following a strict meal plan with allotted calories every day. If your diet is a way of life, it should be sustainable, something you can comfortably maintain for life.
Rigid rules, like banning certain foods because they’re seen as bad or unhealthy, or forbidding yourself to ever have a slice of cake or that indulgent plate of ribs, are not only unsustainable, but they can often lead to overeating in the long run. When you deprive yourself of a food you want, you often end up fixating on it. Frequently, you’ll end up fixating so intently that when you do finally give in, you eat much more of it than you otherwise would, as you perceive it as your only chance to indulge. You also probably feel defeated because you failed your “perfect diet.” Eating healthfully can already be so hard, and holding yourself to unrealistic expectations can make it even harder.
It’s All About Balance
A sustainable and healthy diet can—and should—include those indulgent meals you crave (like our Red Wine Braised Short Ribs) every once in awhile. Enjoying small amounts of your favorite food is key in helping you maintain an overall healthy diet—and in keeping you sane and happy!
Of course, I’m not recommending that you choose the highest calorie meal every night. But when you won’t settle for anything less than that plate of ribs (or an ice cream cone or a fancy cocktail), give yourself permission to enjoy those treats. As long as the rest of your diet is balanced and filled with plenty of vegetables, fruits, high quality protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates, I’ll be happy.