When you sit down for a meal you have the chance to make great nutrition choices that will power you through your day, or make less than great choices that will leave you feeling hungry and sluggish soon after you’re done eating. The good news is, if you blow it on one meal you always have the chance to make up for it on the next. The secret to making great nutrition choices more often than not, is to be aware of your behavior when you are about to eat. For example, are you anxious, upset, excited, or distracted? All of these emotions can cause to you overeat extra large portions of food.
Over heightened emotions make us act on a whim and often make us regret it soon after. Take a few minutes and be aware of your emotions and the situation you’re in. The more aware you are, the less likely you are to overeat on sugar, carbs, or extra large portions of food.
Here are some Heart Smart Minute Nutrition Tips to consider durning your next meal.
Take 20: It takes 20mins for your body to register that it’s full. Why is this so important? Because if you’re eating your food like it’s a race, you are eating hundreds of extra calories your body doesn’t need or want, all because you haven’t given your body a chance to tell you it’s full. Slow down and give your body a chance to talk to you.
Sit Down: Don’t stand and graze at the fridge, you’re eating food you don’t even realize you are because you’re distracted. Keep kitchen counters clear of snack foods like nuts or crackers. The last thing you want to do is get in the habit of grabbing handfulls of snack everytime you walk into the kitchen. Sit down and look at your food, see what’s on your plate and know the calories you’re eating. This makes you aware of your nutrition and your surroundings.
Avoid Family Style Dining: It sounds great! You, your friends, all around the table with pounds and pounds of food all around you. As great as it sounds, family style dining is a nightmare for portion and calorie control. Stick to having your own plate and leave the rest of the food in the kitchen. After your meal, get up and move around to avoid going into the kitchen for seconds.
Salad First: Having a salad before your main meal gives you a chance to get fiber in your system. Salad will make you eat less of your main course and give you a nutritious mix of leafy greens and veggies!
After Dinner Be Done: The more people I meet through Heart Smart Minute, the more I’m convinced that after dinner snacking is the worst culprit for weight gain. Here’s the thing, you’re not eating after dinner because you’re hungry, you’re eating because you’re bored and it’s a habit you’ve made to relax yourself before bed. Break your routine after dinner by going for a walk or removing yourself from the “snack zone” when cravings hit. Also, make your home a no fail zone! You can’t eat was isn’t there.