In order to manage your weight, it’s important to become aware of how much food your body really needs to perform the basic functions of life.
Here’s a few things I do that have helped me to build awareness around eating:
What has worked best for me is basing my food intake on how hungry I feel physically and how full I feel after 20 minutes of eating.
It’s so important to know the difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger, otherwise I could could eat all day!
Practicing mindfulness while eating, such as eating slowly, putting my fork down while chewing my food, has made a huge difference in my eating habits.
Building awareness about the types of food you eat, how much food you consume and knowing where you are on the hunger and fullness scale will help you see how much food you are eating each day. From there, you can begin to make changes in the amounts of food your body needs.
Restaurants are notorious for giving us large portions. Value meals, combos, all you can eat buffets are all the ways you can receive excessive portions of low cost foods, pasta, bread, and desserts.
Moderation is just as important at home. By reducing the size of your meals you can trim your waistline without disrupting your life. Melanie Polk, registered dietitian and director of nutrition education for the American Institute of Cancer Research says, “This isn’t like a crash diet that you can never stick to, it’s a lasting improvement in your eating habits.”
Become more aware of the portion sizes on your plate. Take smaller amounts of food. Eat slowly and chew your food. Take a 10 minute break halfway through your meal and see if you are full.
Eating foods in between meals can be a necessary and part of a healthy diet. We do get into trouble when we add healthy snacks and do not cut back on the size of our main meals.
Grazing is another form of snacking. Its mindless eating at its best! Chips while working, a handful or two of nuts, or snacking while cooking.
If you find yourself grazing, snacking or eating too much at mealtimes, bring your awareness back to your body sensations, emotions, thoughts and your environment.
Questions to Ask Yourself
You can build awareness about your eating habits and portion sizes by asking yourself these questions: Why am I eating this food? Am I really hungry or is it because the food is in front of me? Are my portions more than what my body needs right now? Is the food I’m choosing a healthy choice for me? Will it make my body feel good after I eat it?
Awareness of our thoughts, feelings and what’s going on in our bodies are THE keys to weight loss and keeping the weight off .