Wednesday 21 February 2018

Five ways to ensure a healthier relationship with food

Over-eating could be a 'behavioural addiction' like gambling - FSAI conference told
Over-eating could be a 'behavioural addiction' like gambling - FSAI conference told

Dayna Macy

Lifestyle guru and author Dayna Macy shares her knowledge.

Are you stressed?

One of the main reasons people overeat or undereat is, simply, stress. When you are stressed, you are not present - you are just moving quickly from one thing to another. We all need food to live but we don't often take time to look at the food we eat to live well. If you do get stressed, take some time out to identify why, or you will be in a never-ending cycle.

Processed perils

Processed foods are created to make you want to eat more of them. They have lots of sugar, fat and salt in them, so when you eat them, you want more. They won't satisfy your hunger. A healthier relationship with food begins with healthy food. Incorporate as many wholegrains, vegetables, fruits and lean proteins into your diet as you can.

Beware trigger foods

Everyone has food triggers from childhood - the foods that have a sort of 'electricity' about them, and that make you feel comforted. Try to break down the attachments you have with these foods by cutting them out completely. You may experience feelings of anxiety and fear to begin with, but they will pass. If you put a plate of olives in front of me - my favourite food ever - I could eat two dozen. I can't have them anywhere near 
me now.

Pack a snack

There are ways to acknowledge your hunger and take care of it in a healthy

way. A typical time for blood sugar to plummet is mid-to-late afternoon. 
I know that when I'm at my office between 3pm and 4pm I'm going to be hungry, without fail. So I always have a piece of turkey, an apple or an orange ready. 
Having all your snacks prepared means 
that when you go home you won't be ravenous and have a bag of pretzels or crisps before dinner.

Banish the bad Stuff

Look at the foods you tend to overeat. 
Don't have them in your home, office or car. You can have all the great ideas in the world, but if you don't practise eating better you are not going to see change. If you have an issue with portion control, measure your food. Use a side plate 
rather than a dinner plate. Have a 
palm-sized portion of protein and a 
fist-sized portion of starch, but don't measure the vegetables - just have as much as you can.

Be realistic

We all have a very all-or-nothing culture. Either you are on a diet, or you are off a diet. Either you are exercising six days a week, or you are lazy. You need to do what is right for you.

Sunday Independent

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