By Dietitian Manoli Mehta
Founder of Tattvum – Discover Wellness
Have you ever munched bag of chips/ tub of ice cream in front of the television mindlessly???
Have you ever stopped for a late-night snack after an evening with friends or family??
The next time you sit down for a meal, do one thing for me- try to be aware of what you are feeling. Are you feeling anxious? Are you feeling stressed? Are you feeling low/negative? Are you feeling happy/ sad?
These emotions that come along with your eating are important to notice. Some of these emotions even I used to feel every time I sat down for a meal. But it doesn’t have to be like this!!
So are you ready to break free from stress eating and bring back happiness to your meals?
Here’s my advice to you—
- When you sit down to have a meal, take 3-4 long deep breathes. This will relax your body and make you more mindful and conscious.
- Try to eat without keeping any pre conceived notions about the food. No judgments around the food will help you stress less.
- Remember moderation is the key! Anything excess is not a good thing. Follow 80% nutritious meal and 20% imperfect meal. Your goal is to balance out.
- Do not feel guilty of the imperfect meal that you eat. Be guilt-free!
- Enjoy and give your body what it needs. Listen to your body and be aware of when you are full.
- Try to remain calm and relaxed. This is the healthiest way to eat. Be more conscious.
- Make sure to be sitting in a peaceful place away from phone/social media/television/laptop.
- Have fruits of 3-4 colors in between your meals to curb the hunger.
- We control our larger meals, but throw water on all that effort by bulking up on our snacks. Most of our mid-meal snacks are unhealthy. Have 1 small katori fruits/nuts/sukha bhel, makhanas/lotus seeds/ jowar puffs/ khakhra/ popcorn or sunflower/pumpkin seeds as your snack. But don’t have all of them at once!
- Understand and notice how you feel after eating a meal. Be satiated after eating and feel good about it. Try to be more grateful!!
- Try to remove the pressure of eating healthy and perfectly. Try to shut out the noises of perfectness. Try to indulge but with moderation.
- Remember, your food is your way of Nourishment not a Punishment! Avoid over eating, your food is not going anywhere!
- Don’t cheat on sleep! Stress related insomnia is common but depriving yourself from sleep is a big NO-NO. Not getting enough sleep will leave you more tired and unproductive than usual. Sleep for 8 hours.
- Don’t let the stress over shadow you. When you feel down and low try to go for a walk/listen to music or read a book.
- Distract yourself! You don’t need much to stay healthy: just 2-3 hours of physical activity per week is sufficient.
Remember, more stress (more cortisol) = more fat storage!!