What do you do when you have your heart broken? You scoff a whole tub of ice cream, of course! And what about when you need a pick-me-up at work? Hello vending machine!
Is it any wonder then that we’re emotional eaters when we turn to food for comfort for everything from a relationship breakup to a simple afternoon slump.
In our food-abundant society, eating is often driven by the wrong cues. Too often we listen to our feelings, rather than fuelling our bodies to live life with vitality.
When we eat like this, we also get the guilts. How many times have you eaten one too many Tim Tams, only to beat yourself up about it afterwards? So what does this vicious cycle of eating to feel better and then regretting it mean? It means we don’t eat mindfully.
12WBT dietition, Lisa Donaldson, loves food and says you should too! She believes eating should be a pleasurable part of life and not something to get the guilts over. Check out her nifty tips on mindful eating and start feeling good about food.
1. Join In!
If you are a restrained eater and opt for an undressed salad while your friends share a banquet, it’s time you relaxed the reigns. Rather than gorging yourself silly, be mindful and enjoy sensible portions of the shared fare. Also select one healthy dish to fill up on.
2. Eat Slowly
If you are the type of person who is capable of inhaling a meal in five minutes, you need to slow down! Eating slowly helps you be mindful about what you are eating and also to notice when you’ve had enough. It takes the body a while to register fullness, so slow it down and let those fullness cues kick in.
3. Savour Each Bite
There’s no point banning yourself from eating your favourite food. Instead, plan a date with it and enjoy every mouthful! What’s important is being able to manage your portions and taking the time to really savour it.
4. Stop Labelling Food
When we refer to foods as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ it’s no wonder we feel guilty for eating them! Rather than calling a food ‘naughty’, start to view it as ‘delicious’. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the odd small slice of cake with your bestie, but there is if you lose sleep over it. Try sharing that cake with your mate, or enjoying it after a little exercise.
5. Plan Occasional Treats
There are approximately 35 eating occasions in a week: 21 meals and 14 snacks (morning and afternoon tea). If one or two of these are a little indulgent, but the rest of your week is healthy, then you won’t suddenly gain a mountain of weight. What you eat the majority of the time is what counts, not the one-off treat. So pull out your calendar and plan for occasional indulgences.
6. Move More!
Moving not only burns calories but also develops lean tissue to help boost your metabolic rate. Plan a few structured exercise sessions each week but also incorporate incidental exercise into your day, like taking the stairs instead of the lift.
Join 12WBT now and you’ll get Meal and Exercise Plans, Mindset Videos, expert support and more, to make sure you walk into spring feeling and looking amazing.