I recently started reading A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson’s very entertaining, laugh-out-loud account of walking the Appalachian Trail in the US. The topics switch seamlessly between the beauty of the trail, his regular disbelief that he tackled and survived such a feat, hilarious descriptions of other hikers and the food that they ate.
Now this is not the gourmet type of food that travel writers write about. It’s trail food. Specifically noodles and raisons, because noodles was all they knew how to make, but also because his walking buddy chucked out everything else that was weighing his pack down. So you can imagine how the prospect of a meal in an out-of-the-way town would have been enough to keep them plodding on for five days at a time. And invariably it was something burger-like, with grease and cheese and a super-size Coke.
This made me think how so many people go on diet for five days of the week and then take the weekend to splurge and eat as much junk food as they can. While it may sound like a good reward for having been so good in the week, it actually just takes you right back to where you started. And there’s nothing enjoyable about eating typical diet food for five days either. A much better approach is to try and make healthier food choices throughout the week so that your body has a regular supply of all the good stuff that it needs. Having the occasional splurge then, or eating something that’s maybe not so healthy, simply becomes folded into the overall intake instead of being a two day shock to the system. If you don’t have recipes to follow, there’s nothing wrong with buying a few well-balanced meals and then trying to re-create them when you’ve become familiar with the tastes.
So a weekend of eating all the food you love as if you might never see it again should not be your motivation to get through a week of unpleasant diet food. Eating should be enjoyable and sociable, and there is definitely room for healthy, flavourful food every day of the week. Even if it’s a small move to just two healthier meals a day instead of one, you’re at least getting on the right track. Take a look at here for tips on variety and making the time to eat well