Here are some tips for healthy eating. Many of us do not pay attention to what we are eating. The key to controlled eating is being mindful.
1. How often are you conscious of what you are eating? Do you taste every bite? Do you chew and swallow one bite at a time. It takes at least ten minutes for your brain to catch up with your stomach and register that you are full. If you stay conscious while eating and can eat and appreciate each bite, you will probably eat a lot less and be satisfied!
2. When you eat with other people you will tend to match the pace of their eating. The faster they eat, the faster you will eat. If there is music playing with a quick beat, you will be shoveling food in to the pace of the music. Being mindful of your surroundings will help you to slow your pace and enjoy every bite.
3. Most of us have been conditioned to finish our food and clear our plates. We eat till our plates are empty regardless of how full we may be. Try leaving half of your food on your plate, especially in restaurants. Then take half of it home for leftovers. You can control your calorie intake and have an extra meal at the same time!
4. Have you noticed that as we have gotten larger, so have our dishes? Plates and bowls are growing in size. Bagels are at least twice the size that they were when we were growing up. If you look at the portion size of pasta you will find that one bowl usually equals four portions of pasta as defined by the National Dietetic Association (a portion is ½ cup)! Portion control is essential in maintaining a healthy weight.
5. Are you eating out of hunger or is it due to boredom, stress, or depression? I have had moments of stress when I will pull out a full bag of chips and suddenly notice that it is empty. Being mindful includes knowing when you are hungry, eating what you need and enjoying each little bite. If you find yourself eating for reasons other than hunger, it is time to take it outside and walk!