The Non-Dieting Approach to Healthy Eating
Eating healthy can be challenging, especially when our eating behavior is sometimes controlled by external factors. Some factors may be based on our emotions, habits, and social situations. Learning to read your body’s physical cues of hunger and fullness will help you to feel better in achieving and maintaining a healthy you. Here are a few tips to achieve this approach:
- Focus on your health and fitness, not your weight– Body composition, energy levels, and healthy blood cholesterol levels are better indications of health than the number on a scale.
- Don’t “diet”– Eat whole foods in healthful portions and reduce your sugar/processed food intake.
- Food is fuel– Your body needs adequate nourishment to function. Try to see food in this manner, not as comfort during stressful times.
- Read your body cues– Learn to listen to your body’s cues for hunger and fullness. HALT- H (Am I eating out of Habit?) A (Am I Anxious?) L (Am I Lonely?) T (Am I Tired or bored?) Try to answer these questions to help you read the cues.
- Eat slowly– It takes about 15-20 minutes for your brain to receive the signal that your stomach is full.
- Meal prep– Plan your nourishing meals ahead. Refuel your body throughout the day. This will reduce your urge to mindlessly snack on unhealthy foods.
Being mindful of what you eat takes practice. Start with small changes everyday…which will eventually lead you to your goals.