It is difficult to plan for each and every situation that we have to deal with in life. While planning is extremely important when it comes to mindful eating, sometimes we can’t foresee the obstacles we will be facing or the choices we will have to make. It is for this reason that we must always be READY to make thoughtful decisions, rather than doing things impulsively that we may regret later.
By repeating positive, confident thoughts to yourself about how you will approach a situation before even getting into it, you’ll have a much better chance of avoiding impulse decisions that you will regret later on. Take, for example, a backyard BBQ. It is overwhelming to try and think about all the possibilities of food and drinks that might be available. Instead, set your mind to a more “general” positive outlook. Think about how you want to feel afterwards. Think about how good you feel when you make healthy choices and don’t over-eat. If you decide to indulge in something, make sure it’s something you really, REALLY love! Have a small amount of it, and eat it slowly, just enough to satisfy that hunger signal, and not to the point of fullness.
Summertime is very difficult for a lot of people. I get many questions about how to eat well when at a cottage. Ultimately, for all of us, it’s a mental blend of not forgetting our goals of how we want to feel, or how we want to look, at the same time being very tuned in to our hunger signals. Am I eating because I am truly hungry? Or am I eating just because food is available, and everyone around me is filling up their plate with inviting food? Listen carefully to your body and mind. Eat if you are truly hungry, but don’t eat if your ‘signal’ to eat is more the simple ‘urge to eat just because it is there.’
Learn to control your immediate response to the sight of food, and think about the goals you ultimately want to achieve.
In anticipation of a social event, eat before you go. Having a healthy snack or meal ahead of time will prevent excess hunger that can lead to poor decisions. Make sure to have protein and/or good fat because these macronutrients keep us full & satisfied longer. Make a decision ahead of time about what would ultimately give you the most satisfaction. Do you really want to have a couple of beers at a BBQ? If so, could you avoid the bread at dinner to compensate? By balancing out our decisions, we feel more at peace with enjoying ourselves, rather than the feelings of guilt, failure and frustration that often come when we eat or drink things that “aren’t on our nutrition plan.” This may help through this summer season.
Keep on trying, and don’t ever give up.
You can do it.