Minding Your Peas and Cues May Help You Lose Weight
Patricia Salzer, a registered dietician at Excellus BCBS, tells how to eat less and enjoy food more. Please share this valuable information with your employer groups.
Do you really taste what you eat? Do you remember what you ate and how much? Do you savor every morsel or gulp down your meal? Do you swear you don’t eat that much, but can’t lose weight?
Maybe what you need to do is eat mindfully and develop a more conscious, intentional relationship with food. With mindful eating, dieting and giving up favorite foods aren’t necessary. It’s more about truly enjoying what you eat and avoiding the side dish of guilt. When you enjoy food consciously, you need less food to feel satisfied.
Here is how to become a mindful eater.
- Make eating a singular activity. Don’t eat while you use the computer, watch TV or read. At work, enjoy your meal away from your desk.
- Sit down to eat. Take time before you dig in to give thanks for or think about your meal—from the farmers who grew the food to the preparer (maybe that’s you).
- Use a plate and utensils; don't eat out of a bag or box. Put down your fork or spoon between bites.
- Enjoy some silence when you eat. Although lunch and dinner are often social events, take a conversational walk with a companion before or after your meal.
- Smell your food. Feel the texture such as the roundness of peas. Really look at what you’re eating.
- Properly chew food to help with digestion and satiety. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to register that you're no longer hungry. If you eat quickly, you’re more likely to overindulge.
- Be aware of your hunger level. Are you truly hungry or are you stressed or bored? Eating for comfort is a short term fix. Find other ways to deal with life’s stressors.
Excellus BCBS offers a free fitness and nutrition web-based program designed to improve your health through physical activity and healthy eating. Step Up is designed to help you take small steps every day toward reaching your goals like walking a little bit more and eating a little bit smarter. Get started with tracking your fitness and nutrition goals at Step Up.