Have you ever asked yourself what you expect to gain from food? Have you ever thought to yourself how this snack will affect you later? Chances are, you haven’t; after all, if we ate according to the nutrients our bodies needed, we would be equally thrilled with a plate of lima beans as we would a plate of cookies.
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to eat healthier, you are probably focusing on making healthy choices, rather than addressing why you weren’t making healthy choices before. Take a look at the following tips to help you be more mindful.
1. Ask yourself why
Every time you are tempted by unhealthy food, ask yourself what emotion you are trying to tap into by eating this. Then ask yourself if you can accomplish this by doing something else. Often we eat because we are stressed or bored, not because we are genuinely hungry. Think of some alternatives in these situations – if you’re stressed, go for a walk or have a cup of tea. If you’re bored, start reading a new book or research a new hobby.
When you have a craving for something unhealthy – try to do something else for 10 minutes. This will give you time to assess whether or not you are really hungry or if you are craving an emotion (comfort for example). For many of us, the craving will pass.
3. Keep a food journal
Another helpful tip is to keep track of what you’re eating. You could write this down in a notebook, or use one of the many apps available. Sometimes being more aware of what we eat and keeping track of it can help you recognise your habits and behaviours, allowing you the chance to change them.