Mindful eating and healthier lifestyles are the best ways to get rid of unwanted weight gain. With COVID-19 quarantine regulations becoming looser in some states, life may return to something close to normal again. Many people may find that the comfort of their homes leads to too many trips to the kitchen. Those used to going to gyms for workout sessions might have been lax with solo sessions at their homes. Excuses like “I’ll get to it tomorrow/next week/sometime soon” have probably been flying around. A survey showed that many people who worked from home during this time admitted to excessive snacking.
The opening up some restaurants and pubs might challenge the good intentions of many. The following tips provided by a nutritionist might be welcome for those who find it difficult to cut back on their favorite foods. She says it is all about being mindful and making healthy food choices. The last thing you want to do is get desperate and cut out entire food groups. The weight that is lost in that way is not sustainable and might cause health problems.
What is mindful eating?
Mindful eating is about taking note of everything you eat. Furthermore, it is about moderation. You can still enjoy your favorite food in moderation. Mindful eating is not a diet; it is awareness, which can ultimately lead to a healthier lifestyle. Once you make healthy food choices without judging each bite, you will know that you have established a healthy lifestyle.
Mindful eating vs. old habits
As your life returns to normal, beware of old habits. It is very easy to go back to what “normal life” is for you. Some find it necessary to keep a journal of everything they eat, noting how they felt just before eating something. Review it once a day and note food choices that were not mindful. Check how you felt before eating a bad food choice.
You might find that this happens when you are very hungry — something to avoid in the future. Similarly, you might note that certain emotions fire your craving for high-calorie comfort foods. Your food diary can help you to recognize bad habits. Own old habits and eliminate them.
Practice mindful eating even when you snack
A healthy lifestyle must never feel like punishment. You are allowed some snacks if you take note of each bite. Snacking while watching television or working on your laptop can quickly become unintentional repeated reaching for the snacks. You might be surprised when the snack bowl is empty without you even being aware that you consumed it all.
Make this rule. When you snack, do only that. Sit down, eat and enjoy your snacks without distractions before you get back to what you were doing before. Soon you will find that your snacks become smaller. With a rule not to snack while working, you might soon skip the interruptions snacking cause.
Always take along mindful meal choices
Now that you will be free to venture out, be mindful when you prepare your picnic or office lunches. If you don’t, you might be tempted to buy an empty calorie meal that will soon put you right back to where you were. Taking note of what you pack will likely encourage you to pack smaller portions of your favorite foods. Packing a bowl of leafy greens might give you a reason to buy a much tastier take-out meal.
Mindful eating requires mindful shopping
Not having healthy food supplies handy is another excuse to eat bad food choices. Therefore, stock up with healthy alternatives. Make a shopping list and set aside enough time to make mindful choices. Rushing will force you to grab products that you might regret later. Mindful shopping will limit the temptations once you get home. One more thing — avoid shopping when you are hungry. That can be like a tiny devil sitting on your shoulder, directing your attention to all the unhealthy choices.
Do not skip lunch
Skipping lunch can cause a drop in your blood sugar. That can send you straight to the vending machine or another source of temptations. Compare a healthy wholegrain open sandwich with fresh, colorful toppings with a pack of potato chips or a tasteless wrap. Make a healthy choice that will not compromise your good intentions.
While mindful eating might sound similar to a strict diet, you will soon find that there is no comparison. Once your new lifestyle becomes evident, all your friends will want to know your secret.