Better Eating Habits in the New Year
As a registered dietitian for more than 20 years, it seemed only natural to offer my clients nutrition counseling, in addition to career and relationship coaching in my practice as a life transitions coach.
Since I am a new life coach, having received my certification this past September, I expected things to be slow in the beginning.
To some extent this was true until a couple weeks ago, when I started receiving calls and emails from prospective clients who want to control their overeating and to “eat for the right reason,” in 2015.
I read recently that most New Year’s resolutions are abandoned by the third week in January. The plethora of reasons why many people overeat, including the many deep-seated psychological reasons, are, for the most part, beyond the scope of this article.
Having said this, I would like to offer some valuable, simple, and straightforward suggestions that are helpful:
1) Control your portion sizes by choosing cooked foods that come as a single serving. For example – a baked potato as opposed to pasta, rice or mashed potatoes. I say this because if you prepare a plain baked potato, once you finish eating the potato, there is nothing left, as opposed to cooking a pot of rice or pasta. If you prepare rice or pasta, take one serving and then create individual servings with the leftovers, to be eaten at a later date, or prepare only enough for a single serving.
2) Eat fruit that comes as a single serving. For example, an apple or an orange, instead of grapes or cherries. Once you’ve eaten the apple or orange, you are finished, not so with grapes or cherries, which are more likely to lead to binge eating.
3) Choose food that requires more chewing. An apple for example, takes longer to eat than a serving of applesauce, and it has greater satiety value. A salad takes longer to eat than cooked vegetables.
4) Serve meals by filling plates with food in the kitchen as opposed to serving meals family style with all the food spread out on the table. This gives you more time to think before getting out of your chair for second helpings.
5) Avoid cream sauce, cheese sauce, or excessive use of fat as a topping or in food preparation.
6) Don’t go grocery shopping or make a shopping list when you are hungry. Eat before you go shopping. Make your shopping list, and buy only what is on your list.
7) Drink a tall glass of water and eat a salad with low calorie salad dressing or a small amount of oil and a flavored vinegar, before meals. This tip is also helpful if you are going to a party where there is liable to be a lot of rich food selections. Mingle. Don’t linger next to the table where the food is spread out and just waiting to be eaten.
8) Slow down. Make your meal last at least 20 minutes. It takes 20 minutes for your brain to signal to your stomach that it is full. If you are a fast eater, take a break mid-meal to slow yourself down.
9) Sometimes the best exercise is learning to push yourself away from the table.
10) If someone else is serving and they tend to re-fill your plate whenever it is empty, you can avoid overeating, or offending them, by eating slowly and savoring the meal.
Wishing you and your loved ones good health and healthy eating in 2015!