If you’re obsessed with eating healthy foods all the time, this can cause stress— and, as we know, stress is not good for our health. In addition, part of health is pleasure. If we deprive ourselves of our favourite foods or feel we cannot (or should not) share a celebration meal with our friends and family because of the food being served, it affects our health. Stressing about eating is counterproductive to our health.

There are times when we get on a roll of mindless or unhealthy eating. If this happens we can try the following to get back to our healthy eating regime:

  • Wait before having seconds. As we know, it takes a while for the message (the fullness in your stomach) to reach your brain.
  • Eat mindfully. Rather than eating in front of the TV, in your car, or at your desk, take time to enjoy your meal. Take the time to chew your food which will help slow down the meal process and aid your digestion. Think about what you are eating and the process it went through to get to your plate.
  • Ask yourself why. If you find yourself regularly reaching for unhealthy food, ask yourself why you are doing it. Are you doing it for comfort? For many of us, eating is tied to emotion. Sometimes we eat because we are bored, anxious, depressed, or angry. Eating unhealthy food makes us temporarily feel better (or at least we think it will). Ask yourself, “Why am I reaching for this food and what will it really take to satisfy this need?” For example, if you are angry with someone, you may reach for ice cream instead of confronting the situation. Taking a moment before you eat may help to pinpoint exactly what is going on with your emotions. Try journaling, writing a letter (that doesn’t need to be sent), or talking to a friend about it. Perhaps taking a walk or breathing can keep the emotional eating at bay. If you take a moment to experience your emotions rather than numbing them with food, you can regain control. You will realize that you have a choice as to how you respond to the emotion. It can be either by reaching for food or by doing something that will better satisfy what you really need.

If you are eating more unhealthy foods than healthier ones, don’t beat yourself up about it. There are good days (weeks) and bad ones. Try again tomorrow. And remember, it’s okay (even healthy) to eat unhealthy foods sometimes— as long as you are there for the right reasons and enjoying it fully (without guilt).

How do you feel about being/aiming to be perfect? Let us know by leaving a comment below or sending an email to info@healthnook.co.za

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