The Festive Season is behind us and the New Year has begun! Instead of starting this year with a new gym membership, going on a gruelling and restrictive diet, or punishing yourself with a 12-week Challenge for the ‘damage done’ over the Festive Season, I want you to take a breather!
Be kind to yourself by planning ahead, and making small changes to your food and eating habits and behaviours.
I want you to start this year with 2020 vision for what you want your relationship with food and eating to look like.
Put your best foot forward as you step into this New Decade by improving your food choices and eating habits with these seven (7) tips:
Tip #1 – Are You Hungry or Dehydrated?
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again! Make sure you are drinking enough water.
A common mistake many people make is confusing thirst for hunger.
The adult human body is made up of approximately 60% water. Therefore, if your body is dehydrated, you may feel hungry.
By drinking at least 2 litres of water per day, you will improve your overall health including energy and digestion.
So . . . Have your water bottle filled with water and have it handy wherever you go!
Tip #2 – Plan Your Food Before You Are Hungry
When you become hungry and do not have your food choices and meals planned, you are more likely to select something quick and easy that might not be a healthy choice.
Sit down and plan your meals and snacks in advance to be prepared!
Tip #3 – Taste the Rainbow
If you’re eating the same old boring food, you will quickly lose interest, and this will lead to you heading to the sweets and treats isles at the shopping centre.
Making healthier choices does not mean making boring choices.
To create exciting and balanced meals add a rainbow of vegetables and fruit to your plate!
Tip #4 – Slow Down When You’re Eating
Speed of eating matters! The faster you eat, the more food you naturally will ‘inhale’.
Fast eaters are 115% more likely to be obese compared to slow eaters. They also tend to gain weight over time due to eating too fast.
To help your waistline and reduce the amount of food you may consume, slow your pace down.
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Tip #5 – Chew Chew Chew Your Food
If you are like many people, you many have never noticed how many times you chew or the texture of the food before you swallow. If you chew each bite for less than either 30 seconds or 40 chews then you are under chewing!
Chewing is your body’s signal that connects your brain and stomach together. By slowing down and thoroughly chewing, you are:
- Kick-starting the digestion process;
- Making your food easier for digestion;
- Sending signals to your brain that you are consuming food;
- Going to reduce the amount of food eaten in one sitting, and
- Going to feel fuller faster.
Having a sense of satisfaction with your meal is more than just feeling full!
By slowing down and paying attention to each bite, it will allow you to taste the flavours, see the colours on your plate and smell the aromas.
A sense of fullness can occur much sooner when you eat with all of your senses.
Tip #6 – Practice Being Mindful When You Eat
The practice of mindful eating is being present during your meal, and being deliberately aware of your:
- Thoughts, and
- Body sensations.
To start being more present, and eating mindfully, clear your mind when you eat and focus on:
- Being in a calmer environment;
- Disconnecting from things that make you mindlessly eat e.g. work, gaming;
- Taking note of your feelings and thoughts when you are eating;
- Noticing your responses to the food you are eating, such as likes and dislikes;
- Choosing to eat foods that are both nourishing for your body and offer a sense of enjoyment, and
- Using all of your senses – smell, taste, sight and sound
Once you can bring your full attention to your experience of eating, you will be able to stay present and reduce episodes of Emotional and Stress Eating.
Tip #7 – Learn How To Eat Intuitively
Intuitive Eating has been lost in translation over the last few years, and has actually ended up being misinterpreted as being able to eat what you want, when you want.
This is actually not the case . . .
. . . Intuitive Eating is actually a non-diet approach to tuning into your body, breaking cycles of Dieting, Binge and Emotional Eating and healing your relationship with food.
The ten (10) principles of Intuitive Eating are:
- Reject Dieting Mentality
- Honour Your Hunger
- Make Peace with Food
- Challenge the Food Police
- Respect Your Fullness
- Discover the Satisfaction Factor
- Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food
- Respect Your Body
- Exercise – Feel the Difference
- Honour Your Health
Want to ditch the unhealthy rules, dieting mindsets and behaviours so that you can commit to creating a healthier relationship with food and yourself?