I often work with clients who identify with this problem, and maybe you identify with it too. Whether you are dealing with stress eating, mindless snacking or using food as comfort, this year’s Nutrition Month 2017 campaign has a solution. Plug your problem into their three-step approach to Take the Fight out of Food. Here’s an example of how it works.
Spot the problem: Many of my clients work full-time while raising a family,
and having a typical busy lifestyle. They often turn to food for comfort when they are stressed at work or frustrated at home. The common theme is, wanting to learn better eating habits.
Get the facts: When clients meet with me, they learn that craving food when you are stressed instead of hungry is called emotional eating. They often recognize some of their own patterns in the information I share with them. For example:
- Craving foods that are high in calories, fat and sugar (do you have a weakness for muffins?)
- Eating too much without realizing it
- Feeling even more stress and anxiety after eating too much
My clients learn about mindful eating as a way to manage emotional eating habits. Mindful eating involves paying attention to eating using all senses: really seeing, tasting, hearing, smelling and feeling food. So instead of eating a whole bag of chips when you feel stressed, you can learn to be more mindful of your choice – perhaps eat a smaller portion and enjoy every bite, or choose a more nutritious snack.
Mindful eating can help you become more aware of the reason why you are eating. It will teach you to eat when you are hungry and stop when you feel full. Using mindful eating, I help people become more aware of their emotional and physical responses to food. With training, you can manage your stress-related eating and pay more attention in the present moment when you are making food choices.
Instead of turning to comfort food, you can learn to fight stress by doing something you enjoy, such as taking your dog for a walk, playing street hockey with your kids, reading a book or cooking. Armed with apps like eaTracker, you can monitor when you eat and look for patterns (which is something we would do together.)
You can also find some new recipes to try for nutritious comfort food:
· Avocado and grapefruit winter salad
· Indian spiced lentils (You can also find all 12 feature recipes at www.NutritionMonth2017.ca).
Seek support: Did you know I am a Mindful Eating Coach who teaches mindful eating principles during individual or group counselling sessions?
Do you have a food fight that you struggle with? Try the three-step approach to Take the Fight out of Food and make your commitment official at www.nutritionmonth2017.ca.
Do you want to learn more about mindful eating and how it can work for you? Contact Jill, Nurture The Future’s Registered Dietitian at firstname.lastname@example.org
References: Adapted from the Dietitians of Canada’s Nutrition Month campaign materials. Find more information about Nutrition Month at: www.nutritionmonth2017.ca.