SIX STRATEGIES TO HELP YOU SAVOR, NOT SCARF, YOUR FOOD
You’re engrossed in a scary TV movie when it dawns on you that you’ve eaten an entire bag of chips. Or you are running late for work, so you inhale a massive muffin en route. This mindless munching can sabotage your weight loss efforts. But paying closer attention to what and how you eat can help you make better choices.
INVEST IN YOUR FOOD In general, people have gotten away from the art of cooking. The more you are involved in creating what you eat-from growing your own vegetables, to shopping for ingredients, to enjoying all the aspects of food preparation-the more mindful you will be. Setting a nice table also helps honor the sanctity of mealtime.
BE REALISTIC Unless you are living in a monastery, you’re still going to eat a sandwich in your cubicle or snack in your car from time to time. But you can take small steps in the right direction . Try to slow down whenever possible9and sit, if you tend to eat while standing or walking0 and plan a mindful meal at least once a week. Devote at least 30 minutes to this meal, and really pay attention to the tastes, smells and textures of your food.
FEEL FULL Your mind and body work together when you eat. Not paying attention to your meals can affect your digestive process negatively, often causing gas and bloating. Furthermore, if your mind is otherwise occupied while you are eating, your brain is likely to miss the signals that tell you you’re full.
TUNE OUT DISTRACTIONS When you’re preoccupied with Facebook or the TV, you can’t focus on your food. Disconnect from all devices, and eat in areas designed for dining-not on the couch, but at the kitchen or dining room table.
SKIP THE STARVATION TACTIC It’s a classic diet don’t: You eat like a bird or skip a meal and, later, you (mindlessly)make up for it two or three times over. Instead, eat smaller portions more frequently throughout the day to keep yourself satiated. Using salad plated can help keep quantities reasonable-not too big or too small.
CONTROL CRAVINGS Some people can have one or two cookies and stop. For others, one or two leads to chowing down on the whole box. Mindful eating doesn’t mean depriving yourself of the foods you love, but it does mean being honest with yourself: If indulging in certain food usually leads to a binge, try to find a healthy substitute instead.
66 percent of Americans regularly eat their dinner in front of the TV!
Ref: Ian K. Smith, M.D., founder of the 50 Million Pound Challenge, is the author of EAT(St. Martin’s Press, 2011)
REMEDY’S HEALTHY LIVING/ FALL 2011