Nutrition Tip for your Summer Shape Up Challenge – Sit Down to Eat!

11Some of us have the workout part dialed in, we don’t need any thought, planning or motivation to workout, it’s just a part of our daily life.  In the words of Nike, we Just Do It!

How about the nutrition part of the equation?  What you put into your body and fuel it with plays an even bigger part in helping us lose those extra couple of pounds.  Many times during the day we mindlessly put food in our mouths.  We pass by the candy jar at work and pop a candy into our mouth.  Or we haven’t eaten properly all day and we go home and graze on things from the refrigerator, never sitting down to savor the food and let our brain know that we are eating and that we are full.

That last sentence is key!  When we sit down to a meal, our brain registers that….eating!  We get a chance to savor our food and focus on what we are doing and what we are putting into our bodies.  It also helps us to regulate when we are full.  The body says, enough!  You are finished.  We can listen to it or choose not to!  But the fact is, if you are walking around your kitchen, talking on the phone and noshing, that food doesn’t really register into the brain.  You get off the phone and start to prepare dinner, little realizing you just ate a whole sleeve of crackers and tuna.  That should be enough of a meal in itself, but our brain doesn’t register that.  Or we don’t listen or take note of that fact.

I used to eat lunch on the run.  I’d eat in my car driving from one club to the next or scarf down a yogurt in between clients.  I found that I was still hungry during the day and I quit doing that.  Now I make sure I schedule an hour for myself to properly feed myself.  I sit down and enjoy my food and have time to relax and regroup for my afternoon.  I feel much more satisfied and ready for the afternoon.  I also find that I usually sit down to a bigger lunch and a much smaller dinner.  This bigger meal at lunch gives my body the whole afternoon to burn calories rather than eating my bigger meal at dinner and then heading off to bed.

I know we all have busy schedules and what works for me may not suit your lifestyle.  But take a few moments to figure out what does.  Make time for your meals instead of eating on the fly.  I think you will find that you are fuller and make better choices when you are more present in the process of eating.  Even if it’s only sitting down for 15-30 minutes, I think you will notice a difference.  You will enjoy your food, feel fuller on less food and probably make better food choices.

Hope this helps!

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