Do you ever catch yourself on the couch snacking and watching TV, only to realize after the two hour marathon of (insert your favorite show) you’ve devoured the entire bag of Doritos, plus? Often when we’re eating and doing another activity, such as watching TV, we’re not being mindful of the contents we’re putting in our bodies. We start off with good intentions of just having a small portion, snack size, of a food, but then it leads to mindless eating or snacking and before you know it, the whole bag is gone. We recommend enjoying what you’re eating by being mindful of what you’re eating. Really be aware of your senses while eating – pay attention to the color, smell, taste, and texture of the food or drink. What emotions are occurring while eating a particular food? We invite you to practice being present, in the moment, when you’re eating and be mindful of the connections you associate with foods
Do you eat because you’re bored or actually hungry? You might crave a snack or something small to tie you over to your next meal, but is that what you get? Listen to your body. If you aren’t hungry but need something to keep your mouth busy, try a hard piece of candy or sugarless gum. Fruits and vegetables make great snacks.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends four to six meals a day. This includes three main meals and snacks in between meals. A snack should be between 100 – 200 calories. Pay attention to the energy density of the foods you are eating. Avoid foods that pack lots of calories and replace them with an equal volume of foods with fewer calories (nutrient dense calories). Here’s a good guide to follow:
· High Density (eat less of these): These are foods with 4-9 calories per gram of weight. Examples: crackers, cookies and high-fat foods like butter and bacon.
· Medium Density (proceed with caution): Foods with medium energy have 1.5 to 4 calories per gram of weight. Foods that fit here include hard-boiled eggs, legumes, dried fruits, bagels, jelly, whole-grain bread and part-skim mozzarella cheese.
· Low Density (go for it!): These foods range from 1.5 calories per gram or less. Examples: tomatoes, cantaloupe, broth-based soups, fat-free cottage cheese, plain fat-free yogurt, strawberries, broccoli, and lean meats like turkey or chicken breast. Most fresh fruits and vegetables fall into this category.
Here’s the challenge you’ve been waiting for – Get to know yourself!
By: Tatiana Burton