This month dietitians all over the United States are encouraging everyone to come up with an eating plan that focuses on consuming less calories, making informed food choices and getting in a healthy dose of exercise each day to help maintain a healthy weight which reduces your risk of chronic disease. One thing we are not doing is encouraging a specific diet to follow. We want to promote healthy habits that can be sustained for life!
This week I'm giving you tips on how to consume less without depriving yourself! It's all about eating mindfully by listening to your body's hunger cues, focusing on nutrent dense foods and letting yourself indulge on occasion.
Step 1: Eat when you are hungry / Avoid skipping meals
When your stomach begins to growl or you feel lightheaded it is a good sign that your body needs something to eat. Going too long without food can cause you too eat too much and can also slow down your metabolism both of which can lead to weight gain. So if you are getting “hangry”, my advice to you is to eat a snack (a healthy one of course!). It’s calories but in the long run you will end up eating less at your next meal.
Step 2: Eat slowly
If you followed step one this should be easy. What I have found works is to really enjoy the taste of my food, this includes chewing your food a few times before swallowing. Also, avoid any distractions including your phone, computer and television. When distracted not only are we not able to enjoy the taste of our food but we often don't realize when we are full. Another great idea is to eat with someone. Talking helps slow down our eating.
Step 3: Stop eating when you feel full (not stuffed)
If you have taken the time to enjoy your meal by eating slowly you will most likely be able to tell when you're full. And when I say full I don’t mean stuffed and uncomfortable, but satisfied and no longer feeling hungry. This is your body telling you to stop, time to digest. Your next meal is only a few hours away!
Balance what you eat: The 80/20 Rule
The truth is no one is good about eating healthy 100% of the time and it's okay to indulge every so often. The "80/20 rule" encourages choosing healthy nutrient dense/low calorie foods 80% of the time. These foods include vegetables, fruit, lean protein, vegetable protein, whole grains, low fat dairy and healthy fats like olive oil and avocado. The other 20% of the time it's okay to enjoy some of those higher calorie, low nutrient dense foods like snacks, baked goods, sweets and fatter cuts of meat. The overall message here is moderation, and everything can fit!
What are some ways you eat mindfully and balance what you eat? Follow my blog with Bloglovin