Spring birthdays, graduations and holiday’s lead into summer holidays and celebrations which can mean lots of eating, followed by weight gain. It doesn’t only happen in fall and winter, and with no New Year’s resolution to lose weight, it may be a good time to check in with your goals.
According to a recent website survey, about 18 percent of people say it’s hard for them to eat healthy because they don’t want to give up their favorite foods. The good news is you don’t have to. You can enjoy your favorite indulgences, in moderation. It’s all about being mindful of what you eat.
Mindless eating is consuming food just because it’s there and includes eating while distracted; watching TV, working at a computer or texting, to list a few. Mindless eating also includes eating for emotional comfort instead of hunger.
The key to mindful eating is awareness. By paying more attention to what we eat and why we eat, we’re more likely to make beneficial changes. To read more on mindful eating, click here.
Paying attention to what you’re eating, is a small change that can make a big difference. Below are tips toward a more mindful approach when celebrating this spring and summer:
- Control portions – During celebrations, remember that you’ll have more opportunities to eat festive snacks and desserts. You don’t have to deprive yourself. I like to sample foods in small portions and then if I really love something I’ll have a little more of a favorite. Experts also recommend serving yourself. Other’s may serve a larger portion than you desire and research has shown that once it’s on your plate, you are more likely to keep eating, even when you feel full.
- Eat when you’re hungry – Just because the clock says noon doesn’t mean you have to eat. If you’re not hungry, wait until you are, but don’t wait until you’re famished because you may overeat.
- Plan – Prepare healthy snacks throughout the day. Nuts, nut bars and high fiber fruits and vegetables are full of heathy fats and fiber that will keep you feeling full until your next meal.
- Slow down – This is really important when celebrating. Enjoy each bite by setting your fork down while chewing. Slowing down gives your body time to trigger your brain that you are satisfied – you don’t need to feel full before you stop eating.
- Pay attention – Don’t eat while distracted, this includes while watching TV, sitting in front of a computer, cooking or talking on the phone. We’re more likely to lose track of how much we’ve eaten when we eat while distracted.
- Use technology – As we continue to become increasingly distracted by technology, our focus on health can fall to the back burner. Use technology to your advantage. There are several apps that manage food records, count calories, help you track what you eat and even provide guidance on healthy food choices at the grocery store and restaurants.
Celebrate your health each and every day by eating healthy and exercising, your future self will thank you!
Shelly & Teresa