The state of the world and our current shelter in place mandate may have you feeling a variety of different emotions. If you find yourself turning to food for comfort from time to time you are not alone.
Below are a few tips to help you practice intuitive eating which will help you feel confident in your ability to nourish your body even in times of high stress. These tips can apply if you are still actively engaging in weight loss goals or if you are practicing maintenance equally well.
1. Remove distractions and refocus on food & mood
Feeling emotions such as stress and anxiety can cause one to turn to food for comfort. When you sit down to eat your meals or snacks, check in with your hunger level and emotions. This will give you an understanding of if how you are feeling is are affecting your food choices and portion sizes. An easy way to be more mindful of your emotions in relation to food is to remove distractions such as the TV which can distract from the meal in front of you and decrease overall awareness of what your body needs. As you practice mindful eating, journal how you are feeling physically and emotionally to gain insight into your food and mood patterns.
2. Choose what you find truly satisfying
We often think of how ‘satiating’ foods can be (i.e. how full they can make us feel physically) yet underrepresent the importance of how ‘satisfying’ we find them. The word “satisfying” can refer to both how the food makes you feel physically and emotionally. Make choices which balance satiety and satisfaction. When you are physically hungry it can heighten feelings of anxiety and stress. In addition to satiety, think about if you like the flavor, texture, and smell of the foods you are putting in your body.
3. Move your body
If you are working from home, eating can become a fall back to decrease monotony and increase the reward sensations associated with food. Instead of turning to food, consider movement to stimulate your endorphins. Some ideas include getting outside for a walk, participating in exercise through online streaming like a PRO Club Facebook Live class or one from the PRO Club YouTube, dancing to your favorite music, or playing with an animal friend. Whatever it is, mix it up and enjoy yourself to create a sustainable healthy habit.
If you are interested in tracking your eating patterns see our post on Mindful Eating Apps for a few great online resources to try, and share with your PRO Medical team.
By Niki Holt, RD, CD, Registered Dietitian at PRO Medical
Edited by Erika DeRooy, RD, CD, Registered Dietitian at PRO Medical and Dietitian Services Manager