As the New Year approaches, people tend to make resolutions about eating better. The all or nothing approach is rarely successful. If you typically eat high fat/high sugar foods every day, start by cutting back to 6 days a week. Each week, drop down by one and keep track in your food journal. But don’t just cut out a food, add a new food and make it something yummy and healthy.
Did you know that what you perceive as satisfying your hunger will help to determine what actually is? If you believe the food in front of you will fill you up, it is likely to do so. If you look at the plate of food and think, “I will still be hungry after I eat this”, most likely you will. But if you look at it and think, “ That was just right”, you will feel satisfied. There is a mindset involved in healthy eating, along with choosing the “right foods” in just the right amounts for you. We have gotten used to huge portions and think we will be hungry if we don’t eat the massive amount. Perhaps not?
Is your home your sanctuary where you leave stress at the door? To make your environment more comforting and the place for peace and calm, gradually make some changes in your home. Surround your senses with beauty: wonderful fragrances from essential oils and natural candles, sounds of nature and music, artwork, plants and flowers, smooth textures and soft pillows and of course, delicious fruits, veggies and other healthy treats.
Enjoying all the treats from the holiday doesn’t have to mean weight gain. Increasing daily activity levels by just a few minutes at a time can help you to lose those extra calories. Try adding just 5 minutes more of walking a day. Take those pups for the walk they so deserve! Take a brisk walk around the block on your lunch break and after dinner. Walk through the house while you’re on the phone. If you have gifts to return or gift cards to use, walk around the entire mall at least once.
You don’t need to deprive yourself of specific foods forever. When you are craving a “treat” that you would prefer not have, spend at least 10 minutes eating that treat. Smell it, look at it, think about it, then take one small bite of it. Slowly chew and savor it’s texture, taste and then swallow. Do you want another piece? Continue this process for each bite. You may find that after only a few bites, you are content. When you are mindful of what something really tastes like, you’ll be more satisfied more quickly.