I had another ‘aha’ moment at lunchtime recently. I feel the need to share it with you as I have a strong feeling, from both observing others and hearing what they tell me about their struggles with making healthy change, in this case in eating, so they can reach their goals and create lasting habits. This aha moment was on a day when I was actually not rushing, not stressed for time, I had timed out my morning appropriately with time to spare before having to leave the house and get on with my day.
I felt like I was getting pretty hungry prior to lunchtime, plus was going to be running around doing physical work most if the afternoon. So, as I typically do, I rummaged through my fridge and freezer, pulled out an egg, goat cheese, asparagus I had previously cooked, and frozen mini spanikopita triangles (I absolutely love Spanikopita!). I popped a bunch of the triangles in the oven, went to get ready, then came back to finish up my meal. Frying my egg on the stovetop, adding in some asparagus, mixing a little dipping sauce, and a sprinkle of goat cheese over it all. Great! I was ready to eat and enjoy my food. I actually, took the time to fill my water cup, set my phone down (no distractions, which I admit is hard for me and many people nowadays to not look at screens while eating), and sit down to eat.
Digging in, I was excited about my food, but also wanted to enjoy it all too. So as I’m eating, I’m looking at my food, tasting it, picking up the bites that looked most delicious and eating those. What I began noticing?
Well the amount of food I served myself, was much more than I was going to need at that time. How did I notice? Because my tastebuds actually began getting bored! And my stomach was no longer grumbling or empty, it had some food in it.
At this point, what I admit I would have done in the past is continue eating it all, ending up overly full, then guilty and frustrated with myself. BUT, Instead, I chose to set the extra triangles to the side and save them for either my next meal, or the following day. I figured, I’d enjoyed my meal and the delicious food for lunch, but if I ate any more I was going to regret it, and in turn not have a happy memory of that meal.
LESSON LEARNED AND TO PRACTICED? Well, so many people feel the need to eat whatever is served to the nowadays. It’s for numerous reasons..
– they’re served ginormous amounts when dining out and don’t know how much to eat
– They’re served large amounts and don’t know how to pay attention to regulate their intake
– They eat while doing other things (phones, games, tv, computer, work or business)
– They are overly distracted from other conversations or their own thoughts or stressors or to do lists
– They are rushed, therefore eat quickly
– Eat at home, after regularly dining out, and we are accustomed to eating larger portions than are appropriate
– You were brought up to finish your food on your plate
– You feel bad for leaving any leftovers
– You don’t want to waste a good thing
After this Aha Moment though, I realized a few key things need to happen to shift away from these bad habits, and I’d like to SHARE THEM WITH YOU! Because you deserve it. So here’s what to do to help get away from this mindset!…
– sit down without distractions (no phones, tv, computers) for at least 15-20 minutes
– Let go of thoughts and to dos
– If dining with others, enjoy their company by taking a bite of food, setting down your utensils while you chew and listening, observing, or conversing with those around you
– Take out measuring cups when dining at home or meal prepping to get tea customer to healthy portions and serving sizes
– Share your food
– Set aside 1/2-1/3 of your meal and put it away or in a to go box
– When you are eating, the moment you notice your food tasting bland or boring, you becoming distracted, or your stomach no longer empty or grumbling, set the food down
– Split your food in half (if you have a good amount to go as above) and have the rest later at next meL or snack or next day’s meal
– Give yourself credit and look forward to being able to enjoy the rest of or leftovers later when your not full, but hungry and able to enjoy
– Avoid rushing. Allow at least 15-20 minutes to eat and pace yourself.
Try working these actions into your days and let me know how it goes or even if you’re having any troubles!