The core main reasons for eating are human survival and fuelling the body for the activities it needs to perform. But in modern society and depending where in the world you live; it can tend to be more of a social or psychological type thing and can get out of control. There many things that can put us into a state or environment that makes us either overeat, under-eat, eat too fast, and or not eat the proper foods to sustain proper health.
Triggers and Tips
- Social or cultural influences – want to be a part of the experience not left out or you are pressured to eat to conform to cultural norms.
- Environmental – Availability of food and food-related stimuli can trigger eating, even when we’re not hungry. Smell of food, food advertisements, and the presence of snacks or treats in close proximity can trigger you to eat
- Habit – snacking while watching TV or having a regular dessert after dinner
- Brains reward – the brain can be activated by the pleasure of eating certain foods, which often leads to cravings and overeating (usually triggered by processed food – junk foods)
Foods you eat and mindfulness
Mindful eating – Are you hungry or you just really just love the flavour or want to be a part of an event.
- Learn to be okay with not feeling pressured into eating in social situations
- Bring your own nutritious snack to the event.
- Have a mint or sugar free candy/sucker that takes a long time to dissolve to distract you from food all together
- Pace – Learn to slow down, savour every bite,
- Chew 30 times for every bite
- After every bite put your food down and wait 1 minute before taking another bite
- Drink a few sips of water, plain tea, coffee or carbonated water between each bite
- Eat a bit – only if really craving it, as sometimes if you don’t give in you end up overeating on other foods even if nutritious. Take a knife and cut a small piece off each of the things you really want to try, make it last, then stop.
- If emotional learn to cope with emotions without turning to food as a solution. Exercise, meditate, read, watch a funny show, call a friend or even have water or herbal tea and sip slowly.
- Remove Temptations: Limit the availability of unhealthy snacks and foods in your home to reduce the likelihood of eating when not hungry.
- 80/20 rule – Implement a cheat day and or meal every now and then, so you are not restricting yourself and feeling deprived. 80% of the time you are eating nutritious meals and snacks and 20% is whatever you would like to treat yourself to!
Mikkie Nettles-Pollon, Certified Personal Trainer
/Holistic & Sports Nutritionist
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