Being on a weight loss journey doesn’t mean that you have to avoid certain foods while you watch others enjoy, or that you should feel guilty about certain food choices. Part of learning to have a healthy relationship with food is moving away from labelling foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, restricting foods you think are unhealthy and instead allowing yourself to enjoy all foods without feeling guilty. Eating well is so much more than just one meal or one days’ worth of eating. Allowing yourself permission to eat all foods without deprivation gives you a healthy, balanced mindset.
Here are some tips from Jenny Craig on how to stay mindful when eating.
Remove food labels and worry about food
Sometimes we worry so much about a food we think is ‘bad’ that it distracts us from the actual experience of eating it and we barely register that we’ve eaten. By removing the guilt from eating a food it allows you to focus on actually eating and enjoying it. Depriving yourself from certain foods only drives the desire to eat the food more and triggers that uncontrollable feeling that ‘if I start, I won’t be able to stop’. By giving yourself permission to eat all foods it helps remove the drive to overeat it now, as you know you can go back later, or the next day if you want.
Sit down and enjoy your food
Take the time to sit down and eat your meals. We often eat standing up or on the run and don’t concentrate on what we are doing which can often lead to overindulgence.
Slow it down and stop when you’re full
This sounds simple enough in theory but our fast-paced lives and the speed at which we eat has meant that many of us have lost the ability to truly tune into our hunger signals. Here’s some steps to take next time you sit down for a meal:
- Start by taking a deep breath
- Take small bites
- Chew your food properly
- Take the time to notice the taste and the texture
- Swallow and feel the food travelling from your mouth to your stomach
- Pause before taking another bite
- Take note of your hunger levels
- At the point you feel your hunger subside an you begin to feel full, stop eating.
Remember to focus on the foods you love and being in the present moment. Focus less on the fear of overindulging and know that if you do, it’s okay. Put it in perspective – one meal or one day will not derail all of your efforts. Above all else, enjoy time with family and friends.