When It Comes To Your Diet, Don’t Be a Zombie

Zombie
Now that Halloween is over and all of the costumes, decorative spider webs, and jack-o-lanterns are a thing of the past, let’s take a few minutes to make sure that there are no zombies still hanging around.

zombies??!?

As much errr fun as it would be to go on a zombie apocalypse hunting adventure, the zombies I’m referring to here are those pesky little diet zombies, you know….

the mindless eat before you think type of “situation”

…yeah, THOSE zombies.

Last month I spent a majority of my days traveling for work, which meant early mornings and long meetings piggy backed with eating out for every.single.meal. While I try to make a conscious effort to eat healthy(ish) as much as possible, when the foods that I normally consider more of a treat are readily available at my fingertips every time I turn around, the 80/20 rule goes right out the window.  I believe the moment I started to realize this was as I was reaching for my third sprinkle covered doughnut hole during a meeting last week.  

Sometimes we just need to slow down and pay a little more attention to our eating habits.

Whether you have a weakness for the holiday treats at work, your schedule is booked with boozy social events, or you follow a strict diet that tends to be monotonous, you can make the art of healthy eating easier with these mindful eating tips.

  1. Stop and think – Do I feel hungry, or am I just eating because there is food in front of me?  I have to stop myself on a regular basis from ordering multiple meals at a restaurant. Why? I live in constant fear that I won’t have enough to eat. Trust me, this is ridiculous. Here in America, we are very lucky to have almost any type of food that you could imagine readily available and accessible at any point in time.  There is no need to store up for the winter. Start slow and pay attention to your hunger cues.  A common tip I give my clients is to only eat half of their meal at one sitting.  If they’re still hungry after 30-60 minutes, guess what…the other half of the meal is still there.  But more often than not, we don’t need as much food as we think we do.  Don’t wait until your stomach hurts to realize that you’re full.
  2. Plan your meals ahead of time, but make sure it’s food you actually want to eat. I can’t tell you how common it is for my clients to tell me about how they grocery shopped and meal prepped, but ended up grabbing dinner with friends multiple nights because by the time they got home after a long day, the last thing they wanted to do was to eat a boring dinner at home.  Last night I made this chili and I couldn’t wait to eat it as leftovers again today. You should feel excited about the food you make yourself. Find new recipes each week that sound interesting and give them a try.   Eating the same food everyday gets boring, have fun with your food!  
  3. Remember that part of the purpose of food (and drinks…I’m looking at you champagne) is enjoyment. That means that you need to treat yourself every once in a while and get over that guilty feeling for really really really loving that decadent piece of cake. The thing to focus on here is that the food/drink should legitimately bring you a feeling of satisfaction.  Sit down, slow down, and pay attention to these foods.  If you find yourself reaching for seconds or thirds, you’re probably not really taking the time to appreciate what you’ve got in front of you.

Do you have any tips for practicing mindful eating?  I’d love to hear them.

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