Contributed by Cat Pitman
Nutritionist, Health & Fitness Professional
We live in a society that plays a big role in what and how we eat. From the manufacturers that have brought us processed food that has taken over the grocery store shelves to the many businesses trying to make money off of the latest diet trend, it is hard to resist the urge to eat and sometimes overeat when we see an overly processed salty, savory, or sweet snack. Then, we have the latest diet trend chasing us around promising us we can lose 10 lbs in 24 hours. How about we take an up close and personal look at the reasons we eat the way we do. What influences our personal choices and how can we take back control over our diet? Here are some steps you can take today:
OBSERVE. RESET. EDUCATE.
#1 OBSERVE the way your body feels after indulging in certain foods. Do you feel full? Do you feel satisfied? Or does it leave you wanting more? When we begin to listen more to our bodies rather than society/culture we begin to reframe our relationship with food. Find your triggers and begin to tune into them. You don’t always have to or need to resist them (you aren’t going for perfectionism), but knowing what they are is half the battle.
#2 RESET your behaviors regarding food, but be patient as this is a long process. How long did it take you to develop the behaviors you have regarding food? Behavior is hard to change and does not happen overnight. Healthy eating as a lifestyle cannot be an “all or nothing” mindset but rather a “something is better than nothing” mindset. So you had 2 donuts in the office, BUT you also added 2 cups of veggies to your day. THIS IS A WIN. Restrictive eating will eventually lead you right back to where you started because the more you give up, the more you are going to begin to crave and eventually cave.
#3 EDUCATE yourself about what is in your food. There are lots of sneaky ingredients manufacturers put in our food products. These ingredients can cause inflammation in our bodies and we may not even be aware until it turns into something more serious such as diabetes, autoimmune disease, chronic heart disease, joint problems, irritable bowel syndrome, some cancers, etc. Become familiar with nutrition labels and protect yourself. Nutrient-dense food is your first line of defense.