June Holidays Special – Eat Better this Holiday Season!
It’s the June Holidays! Have you started planning for your vacation? It’s the time to indulge with good food and get pampered in a luxurious hotel to recharge and prepare for the rest of the year! However, as a trainer, this is one of the times when I fear the most for my clients – falling off track when it comes to food. So how to eat better during holiday season? My best advice is not to feel guilty about your indulgence and simply enjoy yourself if you are on a vacation, set your mind to get back on track when you’re back. Treat it as a break. Here are a number of tips,
Tip Number 1: Ask yourself if you are REALLY hungry
Am I hungry? Or is it a craving? It’s 2 more hours to dinner and I had my lunch at 12pm, am I able to wait for another 2 hours?
Identify you hunger cues and eat only if you’re hungry. Many times, they’re just cravings.
Tip Number 2: Ask yourself if you have a healthy relationship with food
If you resist your temptation with food, chances are you’re going to chuck down a bottle of cookies after that. We overeat for a reason; we crave for a particular food for a reason. The next time when you open up your fridge for the Ben & Jerry’s tub of ice-cream, question yourself – do you really need your Ben & Jerry’s now? Why? Is it because you’re too bored watching the TV without something to munch? Is it you turning to food for comfort when you’re stressed?
Identify your trigger cues for your craving helps you to understand yourself more. If work stress is the trigger, work on that stressor. Keep yourself calm and make sure you have plenty of rest! Directly working on your stressors is a better approach than ignoring it and resisting your food temptation.
Tip Number 3: Eat slowly and stay at 80% full
Your stomach takes approximately 20mins to signal your brain that you’re full. Eating slowly allows you to have a better taste of your food and appreciate it better. If you start to wolf down your food, chances are you are going to feel bloated and overeat later on. This results in taking in excessive calories and causes weight gain.
Don’t be greedy! You have many chances to have that food again! Eat slowly and leave the table without feeling bloated (80% full). Identify your cues when you’re starting to feel full and pick your last item to complete your meal.
Tip Number 4: Focus on whole food
Minimise the consumption of processed food such as cakes, hotdogs, chips and focus on quality whole food like poultry, red meat, fishes, fruits and vegetables. Processed food is generally less nutritious and high in sugar and sodium, so avoid them if possible. On top of that, your body uses more energy to break down whole food. Better for deal for weight loss, isn’t it?
Focus 80% on whole food and 20% on your comfort food and you will be fine. Do not think of your day like it’s an all-or-never. If you happen to have a heavy meal, get back on track the next meal! If you know that you’re going for a party tonight, have a lighter lunch.
A successful diet is sustainable if you’re able to do it consistently without much trouble. Adopt the 4 tips above and start managing your diet better!
1. Eat when you’re hungry,
2. Have healthy relationship with food,
3. Eat slowly and stay at 80% full,
4. Focus on whole food.
Sufian is a Fitness Professional & a Human Performance Specialist with Aileron Wellness. He is also an Educator with Aileron Wellness Academy.