May 30, 2016
The answer is yes, IF YOU FOLLOW MY 10 TIPS FOR IMPROVING YOUR OVERALL HEALTH (because healthy bodies don't like to carry excess baggage!)
TIP #9: Practice Mindful Eating
Anyone who’s ever worked with me nutritionally will tell you that I’m NOT a big fan of counting calories, grams, carbs, or really ANYTHING…it seems to me that eating is supposed to be a no-brainer, not brain surgery!
I AM, however, a big fan of practicing mindful eating techniques…enter the Sculpt Your Life LIFESTYLE Diary (a tracking tool that may LOOK like a food diary but oh, my friends, it’s SOOOOOOOOOO much more!!!)
Just like most food intake tracking tools and apps, my Lifestyle Diary allows clients to keep track of what they eat and when they eat it, plus what they drink and when they drink it.
But here’s my tracking tool takes a hard right turn away from all the other tools and apps I’ve ever encountered: there are also spaces for clients to record how much sleep they’re getting, when and what kind of exercise they do, how they fuel their bodies before and after exercise, plus all the vitamins/supplements they take. There’s even an unusual looking right hand column where clients can record how they’re feeling JUST BEFORE they take that first bite of WHATEVER (remember that the interplay of mood and food is a continuous cycle: what you eat affects your mood, and your mood, in turn, affects your next food choice. I often tell my clients that the key to making permanent changes in eating habits is not discipline over the fork, but mastery over the mind!) Clients can fill in the column using letters and numbers from the “Hunger → Fullness” and “Mood” scales I include on the sheet or they can simply jot down anything that occurs to them before they eat a meal or snack. I tell clients to ask themselves questions like:
·How’s my energy?
·What about my mental clarity?
·Did my previous meal or snack affect my mood in a positive way? Or did it have the opposite effect?
·Did my previous meal “stick to my ribs?” Or am I hungry again more quickly than I’d anticipated?
My complete LIFESTYLE Diary helps clients make and keep eating MINDFUL by helping them learn to first listen to their bodies and then eat what they want or need. Many of my clients report being amazed at what they discover about themselves once they begin recording and monitoring how they feel when they eat various foods! And many have found that keeping a Lifestyle Diary even AFTER reaching a weight, health, or fitness goal is still valuable because it keeps them from slipping back into old behaviors while staying mindful of their bodies’ physical and mental needs.
So don’t just track “calories in, calories out”…get MINDFUL about what you’re eating! Not only will you probably eat less (it’s amazing how fast calories add up by popping a piece of cheese in your mount or licking the peanut butter spoon while making the kids’ sandwiches!) but you’ll most likely discover A LOT about WHY you eat what you eat!
Remember it’s often less about what you’re eating than what’s eating you… get that, and both your health AND YOUR WAISTLINE will thank you!!!