You must start to change the way you think and behave about food.
By changing your mind and behavior you’ll have the best chance at being successful with losing weight.
Following are 6 good habits you can start to implement starting today.
For the vast majority of people, eating is about more than just nutrition. Most of us eat for reasons that have very little to do with the fuel our bodies need to be healthy. Instead, we eat to connect with others or certain emotions. We eat to relieve memories or recall people. We eat to help us get over our lousy mood or to relieve stress.
Learning to change your thoughts about food is vital if you ever hope to improve your behaviors related to food. And if you genuinely want to live a healthier life, then you NEED new behaviors, which means you MUST focus on your thoughts. Your food habits reflect your life. Your food is tied to how you feel, and how you feel is tied to food. One cannot be healthy without the other. So, how do you change these thoughts to develop new, healthier habits? Let’s explore that.
Healthier Thoughts for Healthier Habits
If you want to change your relationship with food, start by addressing how you react to eating, how you behave at mealtimes, and how you handle cravings when they pop up. Here are some new habits to try.
1. Before you eat a meal or snack, stop and think about your emotions. What are you feeling right now? How could those emotions be affecting your cravings or your decisions about what to eat? Take a few minutes to sit with these emotions, mulling them over. Is food really going to help you change your feelings, or are there other, healthier ways to address how you feel?
2. Savor your food. For those who say, “but I really enjoy food,” no one’s telling you to stop loving it. In fact, you should love it even more. Enjoy each thing you put into your mouth with all your senses. Savor every bit of it. Eat slowly to enjoy it as long as possible. Savoring your meal will allow you to connect with your food on a deeper level, and it will enable you to quickly realize when you are eating unhealthy food. Unhealthy food doesn’t satisfy your senses when it’s savored slowly.
3. Breathe as you eat. The more you focus on your breath while you’re eating, the more likely you’ll eat more slowly and respond to how the food is affecting your body. As you’re chewing, pay attention to how you’re breathing. When you inhale and exhale, notice how full you feel and decide if you should continue eating or not.
4. Slow down. Eating slowly allows your brain to process the signals your body sends about whether or not it’s full. Maybe you’re thirsty, or the craving you’re feeling is really hunger or some emotional need. Overeating is a result of eating too fast and not allowing these signals to catch up so your body can make the necessary adjustments.
5. Change your environment. If you regularly eat alone, be sure you still honor rituals and practices, like sitting at the table and eating off dinnerware. Eat at a set time each day, and when possible, eat with others. Don’t sit on the couch while you eat. This can lead to overeating as you zone out in front of the TV.
6. Focus on eating. Don’t do other things while you eat, like check your email, watch tv, or scroll on your phone. Focus on the act of eating. Don’t multitask during this vital activity that brings you nutrients and keeps you healthy. Something so important for your life is worth your full attention, isn’t it?