Eating and the New Year

Its a new year and for many, new year resolutions have already come and gone. I think its ironic that resolutions are often built out of post holiday-indulging and guilt. When it comes to food, I dont think guilt is ever a good thing. Dissatisfaction with ones body and yo-yo eating are common eating behaviors, especially of women. Guilt can lead to extreme food restrictions or diets (for short amounts of timebecause really, who can quit sugar forever? ;)), or excessive eating related to feeling like youve already lost your healthy perspective, so why not just throw all food control out the window!

I come from the perspective that all food is designed to nourish and a positive, thoughtful approach to eating and choosing foods will help keep a positive outlook. We want to minimize the negative connotation and feelings that so many people have with food. In fact, recent research finds that a more intuitive approach to weight loss may be more effective than dieting. This approach used mindfulness and intuitive eating to support women in building a healthy, positive relationship with food and body image.

Researchers found that a mindful, thoughtful approach to food resulted in more weight loss, but more importantly, more contentment among women with their body shape and food choices.

Intuitive eating includes being fully aware of your food choices and savoring and thinking about the flavors in each bite. Mindfulness means being fully aware and involved in your daily choices. Food should be enjoyed, and not restricted. There is room for chocolate and cheese; just not every day, every meal. When you chose to indulge, chose that food wisely and truly enjoy it.

I like to think of the new year as a time to re-evaluate your primary activities and choices, and renew what place with utmost importance. What areas of your life do you think you need to slow down to become more fully in tune with? Do you need to eat more meals at home? Do you need to pack your lunch the night before to avoid hasty lunch choices? Do you need to remember to eat breakfast? Or do you need to let yourself enjoy a slice of cake every so often?

I challenge you to think of a few ways you can eat more mindfully. Write these ideas down, and post them on your fridge, desk or cupboard to remind you of these goals throughout the day.