Stalled in your health goals? Acknowledge the foods & drinks that take you off the rails.
As a Duke-trained, professional Integrative Health & Wellness Coach with Functional Nutrition training, not only do I recommend becoming more mindful of WHAT you eat, but also HOW & WHY you eat. It’s all part of my free Manage Mindless Eating Program, and I want to serve you up a slice.
You’ve seen my articles discussing the length of time between meals and how often you’re eating in a day. Here, we’re getting into which specific foods and drinks you simply can’t stop eating once you start. Taking the term from the Whole30 founders, I affectionately like to call these, Food With No Breaks.
MINDFUL EATING EXERCISE OVERVIEW
Here’s a quick overview before diving into your Lesson, Action Step and Accountability Options.
MINDFUL EATING EXERCISE SNAPSHOT: Consider the specific foods or drinks you’ve trained your brain to not only crave, but also to not be able to easily stop after a few bites or one “serving.”
HOW THIS IS DIFFERENT: Here’s the kicker, I’m not going to tell you to avoid gluten or sugar or dairy or booze or whatever. You know why? Because we all have different trigger foods. And we all have different emotional & biological reactions to different foods.
EXAMPLE: Personally, I’m a sweets girl. Put a pint of gelato or Ben & Jerry’s in front of me, and God only knows what I’ll do to that thing. 🍨 Though my brain and tongue scream for it, my body and mind grow weak with it, leaving me feeling fatigued, feeling foggy and feeling fat to be quite honest.
After decades of trial & error, I’ve learned that I just shouldn’t keep pints of ice cream in the house, and if I break that rule, I need to put the sweet treat in a small bowl and FRICKIN ENJOY IT, rather than shamefully eating straight from the carton telling myself it will be the LAST TIME I’ll ever eat it (yeah right). But chips? Fries? 🍟 Not my jam. (Oh but pizza? Pizza is DEF my jam… 🍕)
MINDFUL EATING LESSON
- Added sugar (not natural sugar in fruit, but added sugar in snacks & treats) promotes overconsumption via pleasure & reward pathways in the brain (y’all know how much I love my brain talk …🧠 )
- Your brain then becomes fixated on the sweetness, creating an unhealthy psychological relationship with your food. It also creates hard-to-break habits, leading to further overconsumption and sugar “addiction.”
- And guess what, IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT. There are legit scientists who work for big brand food companies who have laboratories 🧪🧫 where they calculate the “bliss point” of certain foods & drinks so people like us will literally become addicted to the food. Nice, huh?
- Think of a time you started eating or drinking something, and before you knew it, it was gone, and you didn’t know where it went 🤷♀️ Chips & salsa? Bottle of wine? You kid’s leftover birthday cake? 🍰 Now, grab that journal you haven’t used yet from Target (or use the Note app on your phone) and answer these ?s:
- What food or drink was it?
- Where were you? (home? out?)
- What situation were you in? (alone? at an event?)
- What mindset were you in? (stressed? happy? bored? tired?)
- How did you feel after? (better? worse? regretful? nbd?)
- What will you do next time you have that food or drink? (because we all know it’s not realistic to say we’ll completely avoid it)
- Holler back to this email, confide in your sister or your house plants, or post in the Wellness Squad what you discovered about your food or drink with no breaks. What will you do next time you’re faced with that food or bev? Will you call your shot and proclaim how much you will have before you take your first bite?
MORAL OF THE STORY
We each have different cravings, different triggers, different reactions to those cravings & triggers, and different results from those reactions. But the SIMILARITY is that we’re all trying to manage those cravings, triggers and reactions, so we can have healthier results. Make sense?
Acknowledge but Don’t Judge
Start by simply becoming more mindful of your food with no breaks this week. Become more aware of HOW & WHY you’re eating – and your feelings when you eat – with NO JUDGEMENT. Just simple awareness. If you can track it in that journal, all the better, sis. You’ll learn so much as you look back to this time of exploration & discovery.
Don’t Hold Back
Reeeeally get honest with yourself and admit to yourself (or your bestie, or your hubs) a habit you’ve learned about yourself that might be the very thing holding you back from reaching that vision of health you’ve got on your mind.
Connect the Bites, la la la la
Pee-Wee Herman references aside, an emotional indulgence or bottomless pit Sunday can and WILL happen! And it’s OK! You just have to consider how you feel about it, whether it’s become a consistent thing, and whether it’s getting in the way of what state of health & wellness you’re looking to achieve.
That’s a Wrap
Wholeheartedly believin’ in you,