So it's February.....after making several new years resolutions about sticking to a healthy eating plan, you find yourself reaching for glass of wine number two and going to town on a cheese platter....and it's only Tuesday night!!
Let me share with you my usual yearly pattern!! So usually by December, I'm in the swing of healthy eating and regular exercise...then comes the party season..Christmas parties, alcohol, horderves, dinner catch ups....Christmas day....lots of eating, post Christmas...lots of eating/drinking all the chocolates and wine I received... lots of finishing off those extra snacks I bought for entertaining but didn't use.....etc etc etc.... by the time I put down my glass of Pinot Gris, all of a sudden it's August before I'm back on track with healthy eating. Amazing how easy it is to start a habit! Amazing how hard it is to change it!!
What are some quick tips to get back on track with healthy eating post party season!?
What is Mindfullness!? Russ Harris, in his bestselling book, The Happiness Trap, defines Mindfulness as "Consciously bringing awareness to your here-and-now experience, with openness, interest and receptiveness."
By eating mindfully, we're present and engaged in the process of eating. In order to do this, I suggest taking the time to eat away from the television or the computer. Often we eat mindlessly, out of boredom or frustration, and before we know it, we've eaten a whole bag of Maltesers by the second ad break. Does this process bring you satisfaction? Probably not! Does it cause you guilt? It probably does!
Try eating at the dinner table, or taking time away from your desk for 10 minutes to eat your lunch. I guarantee you'll gain more satisfaction.
Eat slowly, and try and engage your senses in the process. Practice mindful eating with the following delicious exercise:
1) Put a small piece of chocolate in your mouth.
2) Notice the taste, the aroma, the feel of the chocolate as it melts in your mouth - try and bring your whole awareness into focusing on the experience of eating the chocolate!!
Reflect on your values!
Do you value looking after your health? Do you value nourishing your body through a healthy diet? Do you value staying slim through a sensible diet and exercise? Think about your values around health, diet and eating. Connecting with these values may help you to make better food choices!
Set yourself attainable goals
After eight weeks of skipping the gym, and eating junk, do you think it's realistic to set yourself a goal of eating a carb free, no sugar, no fat diet, with going to the gym 5 days per week?
If you do maintain this goal for a few days, you may find you slip up worse than ever!
Small wins will empower you to take on greater challenges!! Why not try setting small goals, like replacing desert with peppermint tea, or going for a short walk after work each day. You'll feel all the better when you succeed!!!
Keep a food diary
Mindful eaters are aware of how many calories they are consuming each day. Keep a log of what you're eating and review it at the end of each week. As well as recording what you eat, why not add some notes about the situation and your mood/feelings at the time. Do you notice certain patterns? Are your moods or environmental changes related to over or under eating?