It's not just about what you eat - taking a more mindful approach to your diet including where, how, when and why you eat can have a major impact on the results you see. These 7 points will help you change the relationship you have with food and lead to more positive nutrition habits.
1. EAT MINDFULLY AND SLOW DOWN YOUR EATING
Did you know that it takes about 20 minutes from the start of a meal for your brain to register its satiety level. Slow down and give your brain chance to catch up to your body! Eat slower, chew your food 20 times before you swallow and when you finish eating stop, relax, drink a glass of water and allow your meal to digest. All too often we finish a meal and THINK we still feel hungry, when in reality its your brain that simply hasn't registered that you are! Other benefits of slowing down your eating include better digestion, better hydration and easier weight loss.
2. DON'T SIT DOWN WITH AN ENITRE BOX/BAG/TUB ETC.
This one is possibly one of the simplest yet effective changes you can make to your eating habits. We've all gone to the kitchen for a snack and gone back to sit down with an entire pack of biscuits/tub of ice cream/box of chocolates or whatever else. Save yourself all those extra calories that you probably don't REALLY want anyway by just taking a couple of biscuits, a few scoops of ice cream or a small bowl of crisps. That way the only challenge lies in not returning to the kitchen for a refill.....
3. A SNACK IS NOT A TREAT AND VICE VERSA
We have this mentality that a snack is something unhealthy. That is only the case when we programme our brains into thinking that way. Break the habit of snacking on junk food by ALWAYS keeping some healthy snacks on hand. Nuts, fruit even a protein bar offer much better choices than something out of the office vending machine.
4. GET RID OF PROBLEMATIC FOOD
This is REALLY simple. If you don't have unhealthy food in your cupboards you can't eat it! Again this does not mean you can never allow yourself some treats. Personally Monday to Friday I eat super clean. Weekends is my cheat days. BUT before I go to bed on a Sunday night I make sure I'm ready for the week ahead by getting rid of any of the weekends treats!
5. DO NOT FOOD SHOP WHEN HUNGRY
When you go shopping on an empty stomach you'll buy the foods that you WANT rather than the foods that you NEED. Even a well thought out shopping list can be sabotaged by a rumbling stomach. Plan ahead, eat first then go shopping.
6. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY NOT YOUR MIND/EMOTIONS
Learn to understand the difference between emotional hunger and real hunger. Our emotions can trigger us to eat. Feeling bored, depressed or unhappy can lead us to the kitchen when what we really need is something to distract us from our emotions.Take a walk, do some exercise, call a friend, anything that places the focuses on snapping out of the emotion that is leading you to THINK you want to eat. Listen for your body's REAL hunger signals. Low energy, stomach growling etc. are all signs that you're genuinely hungry.
7. GET INTO A SCHEDULE
Again this comes back to the busy modern day lives that we lead. Meal times become more of an inconvenience than an important part of our day. This prevents us from developing healthy habits and environmental 'prompts' that tell our brain what, when and how much to eat.
Instead of grabbing food on the go try and make an effort to get into the routine of eating at least one meal a day at the same time and in the same place. No distractions, not phones no TV - just focus on and be grateful for the meal in front of you.