With the holidays approaching, it’s a good time to work on a healthy mindset about food.
So what is a healthy mindset about food? It is a mindset focused on the nutritional value of food and the role of nourishing our bodies for optimal health and energy.
As women, we often beat ourselves up and approach eating with an all-or-nothing mindset. This never goes well for anyone, does it?! Indulgent eating swings to extreme restriction will affect our mindset and our metabolism.
We are bound to enjoy some extra holiday treats as families and friends gather for celebrations, which is ok. With a healthy mindset, we can enjoy ourselves without thinking we have to starve ourselves or over-exercise for days after.
How can we cultivate a healthy mindset about food?
Cultivating a healthy mindset about food allows us to view everything we eat through the lens of nourishment and fuel. The food we put in our bodies has a powerful effect. You have heard that food is medicine. We make better choices when we think about how we want to feel. We get to decide whether to eat foods that will help us feel energized, vibrant, and light or tired, bloated, and irritable.
But it’s not that easy, right?
Food means different things, and we must become curious about our relationship with food. Let’s face it most of us are emotional eaters, and with the holidays quickly approaching, we have a lot of emotions and stress going on.
If you find yourself standing at the refrigerator or pantry, ready to pounce and eat everything in sight or all the chocolate…pause and ask yourself what’s going on. Are you really hungry? Are you stressed? Are you bored? Have you been denying yourself?
Try redirecting yourself by drinking a glass of water, walking, turning on music and dancing, or taking a 20-minute power nap.
And if you didn’t stop yourself, if you did overindulge, forgive yourself just like you would a friend. It is time to get curious. Why did you overindulge? What can you do to stop yourself next time?
It isn’t always easy, but the more you practice this, the better you become.
Becoming a Mindful Eater
Here are a few tips for becoming a mindful eater.
- Slow down while you are eating. It takes approximately 20 minutes for your brain to register you are full.
- Eat Real Food, less processed foods. Focus on eating farm to fork. Processed foods are full of ingredients that make you want more. Have you ever eaten just one potato chip?
- Be careful with technology. Fitness trackers can be beneficial but can also lead to anxiety and perfectionism. When I tracked my macros, I became too fixated on food. I decided it was better for me not to track. We are all different. Find what works best for you.
- Take “can’t” out of your vocabulary. “I can’t have dairy.” “I can’t have carbs.” “I can’t eat certain hours of the day.” Be flexible with yourself and listen to your body.
As I said before, it isn’t easy, but we always improve with practice.
As we go into the holidays and decide what we want to eat, we need to ask ourselves how we want to feel first, and then we can make more mindful choices.
Food has power; allow it to fuel and nourish you.
Needing support cultivating a healthy mindset around food? Join my next Holiday Edition of the Balance Eating Method and be in a community with like-minded women as you learn to bring more balance to the way you cook and eat.