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January 21, 2020 4 min read

Currently, new research indicates that eating healthy requires more than a balanced diet rich in healthy foods, so eating healthy represents a challenge for most people.

Eating is not only an organic necessity; it is a physiological event that is also part of individual and social behavior.

Before knowing what is the relationship between food and self-control, you should be clear about the following: what is meant by eating well? How can you healthily relate to eating?

The way you relate to food and the emotions associated with it largely determine your choice of food, preparation, among other aspects.

 Healthy Eating With Midwest Meals

Eating well also depends deeply on emotional well-being, so you must ensure that you do not follow harmful behaviors to your health after eating. The most commons are:

  • Emotional distress such as guilt, sadness, anger or frustration, anxiety, stress.
  • Harmful behaviors for your health such as: induce vomiting after eating, avoid eating, overeating, depression. (1)

Eating well then means enjoying food and caring for or improving health from a proper diet, it also implies a better social development, and with this a healthier mind.

In order to eat well, it is not only enough to select healthy foods; it is necessary to develop an awareness of what you eat, how you eat it, and how this affects your body.

When talking about well-being when eating, one of the most used methods today is Mindful Eating; this method will provide you with emotional self-control techniques when feeding you.

Mindful eating will help you focus your attention on the present, through changes in thinking patterns and attitudes related to food, freeing you from anxiety and eating disorders. (2)

One of the great fruits of mindful eating is the development of self-control; this not only allows you to manage your diet better, it also transcends your social relationships by improving your emotional intelligence.

 Mindfulness Eating With Midwest Meals

What is self-control?

The term self-control describes a person's ability to master their actions, desires, and emotions. Self-control will help you analyze each situation and have an appropriate response.

Self-control will be a good tool if we want to eat healthily. Although self-control is often referred to as if it were an inherent property of the person (I have or do not have), the truth is that they are a set of complex skills that can be trained and developed, so that they can be exercised in more and more situations and increasingly difficult contexts.

That is to say; the self-control is related to being able to delay the desire or the "impulse" that you have to do something and not die trying: not to eat that piece of chocolate cake just because you have proposed it, not to take those two more beers or drink more water than you usually drink even if, at that precise moment, it is not what you want most.

Self-control could be summed up in: "do in spite of." Despite the circumstances that make it difficult and that have to do with: the context in which you are, with a series of emotions and feelings you feel.

At first, not doing what you want is hard, it costs. But that self-control behavior will start to become more natural and will cost you less and less.

People who practice self-control with food are not in constant suffering!

Learning this skill can be a challenge, but there are basic keys that will facilitate learning, such as the self-knowledge of your own emotions. (3)

 

How to start Mindful eating step by step

Just becoming a person who practices mindful eating improves food both in quality and quantity, so getting know what you eat and in what quantities is essential if you want to change habits.

Developing this type of method is not something immediate; in fact, the fundamental thing is to initiate a change of habits and from there arise steps that you must follow to develop your self-control.

  1. Make a daily food log: Performing a daily food log will help you control what you eat, how much you eat, and what drinks you consume. We always recommend checking out MyFitnessPal or MyMacros+ if you are looking for a food log on your phone! 
  1. Eat sitting: Eating always sitting is another way to become aware of what you eat because eating food stopped or while you are moving from one side to another, is not perceived by the body as a real meal. This produces an imbalance in the portions you consume, and of course, they are additional calories.
  1. Eat without distractions: Eat without distractions avoiding being in front of the computer or watching television is another way to mentally record what you eat, eat sitting and without distraction focuses your attention at that time, this allows you to be more aware of the quality of your food and control portions.
  1. Chew food properly: Chewing food well ensures that you fully experience its taste, aroma, and can eat slowly; this is another way to enjoy what you eat while recording at the brain level what you are doing.

Chewing food properly favors the control of the quantities ingested. At the gastrointestinal level, eating your food slowly decreases discomforts such as gas and acidity, at the same time there is a lower secretion of ghrelin, this hormone is responsible for sending hunger signals to your brain so you will feel satisfied quickly. (4)

 

  1. Learn to choose healthy foods: Learn to choose, selecting healthy eating is not a simple thing, it requires prior information and a review of the labels of the foods you want!

 

Mindful eating is a change of habits, a set of behaviors, and requires time, effort, and a lot of systematicity. Unfortunately, there is no magic in behavior change, but there are guidelines to understand and modify it more quickly and efficiently. (5)

 

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15256293/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5890263/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5556586/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19820013
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24636206

 

 


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