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How to be mindful when eating, especially during special events/holidays!

November 25, 2015

We all have our own personal goals when it comes to health and fitness, which is great, but when it impacts others in a negative way then sometimes this can result in failure and/or disappointment of self or by others. Now typically we always say "who cares what others think?", but when it comes down to impacting loved ones or other areas of your life, then it's time to re-evaluate.

Finding and creating balance isn't easy. Most of the time many find it much easier to go ALL IN or NOT at all. But these two methods both lead to failure. The all or nothing mentality can lead to failure because it cannot be sustained for long term. Long term consistency and finding an approach that can be followed long term will bring the best results. When an approach is less extreme, or less ALL IN, then you can adapt and change to new arising situations without completely blowing your progress.

Say you have an event coming up in 1 week that involves others to celebrate a special occasion. What's your first feeling?

Typically it's anxiety if following a nutrition regimen. Your first thought is "what will I eat?!" Second thought is "how will that impact my results?!"

First thing to do is, take a deep breath, you will be okay. Second thing to do is start planning ahead! You can still get a workout completed in the morning whether it be the gym, home, or hotel. Secondly, don't starve yourself the whole day prior to the event. Eat like you NORMALLY do on a regular day. Most events are only one meal. You may know in advance what they are having so you can plan ahead and guesstimate the macronutrient value and/or pick the lower calorie option. Typically lean proteins and vegetables will be your lower calories option. Portion control will also be important, you can have a piece of dessert, just don't take one quarter of the whole dessert with you back to your seat! Be mindful of how you are feeling when you're eating; are you full? Eat slowly, savor each bite, and be social. Grazing through the appetizer, dinner, and dessert are another option. Pick fruit and/or vegetables for your appetizer, lean protein with vegetables for your meal, and fruits or a hot beverage for dessert. Drink plenty of water!

If you don't have anxiety regarding sticking to your fitness plan, and you know that going "off track" will not impact your progress, then just simply enjoy the meal. If you've been consistent for a long time, one meal WILL NOT throw you off course. Enjoy that meal, there is no need to binge, know that you are in control of FOOD, know when you are full, and that food will always be there! Get right back on track after that meal. If you crave something, fit it into your macronutrients! There's no need to "cheat" on your meal with a Reese's when you can simply just make it fit into your day!


Tips for intuitive eating using macronutrient / micronutrient guidelines

- Start reading food labels and be aware of the nutritional value - especially amounts of fats, carbs, proteins, and fiber in each
- Be aware of an estimated portion size for ounces and or grams with each food source (beef, chicken, cereal, fruits, veggies)
- Balance your meals with fats, carbs, proteins at each
- Eat less frequently, 3-4 meals a day should be sufficient and help remove the focus on food throughout your day
- Be aware of how you feel each meal, are you full? Are you really hungry or are you thirsty? Are you energized?

There comes a point that I even encourage current clients to switch to a more intuitive approach, even if it's only 1-2 days out of the week. Learning the nutritional value of food and how to eat by following a plan initially can really help improve the ability to become an intuitive eater. It comes down to each individual and what works for them and their personal goals. There is no one way to do things, but there are more flexible methods to reach your goals. Be open to change!


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