We all experience it, several times a day. Or at least we should experience it several times a day. Modern life means that for some, true hunger is never really experienced. Instead, some are bombarded with mixed messages all day, meaning that their intrinsic hunger cues are subdued. More eating occasions throughout the day means that people are eating for reasons other than hunger.
You might be hungry for a connection with someone, but choose triple cheese toasted sandwiches to fill the absence. Perhaps you’re hungry for happiness and don’t know how to find it, so you numb yourself with chocolate cake. Or maybe you are just down in the dumps after a knock back at work, so that delightful bottle of bubbly helps to quench your hunger. Most of the reasons for overeating are linked to our emotions. Think about that for a second.
We are eating for emotional reasons instead of physiological reasons related to hunger. It becomes very apparent then, that any attempt to control weight (be that weight loss or weight gain) simply must address the underlying triggers that cause us to overeat in the first place.
We have all heard the saying you are what you eat. I quite like the simplicity of this term. It is true to an extent, when a whole-food diet is favoured over one that is highly processed and devoid of plant foods. However this Christmas I urge you to think not only about what you are eating, but how.
Too often focus is directed towards what we are putting in our mouths. Our internal voices are asking is this gluten free, does it contain sugar, is it organic? While these considerations are significant, so too is the way in which we are consuming said food.
Ask yourself the following questions.
Are you slurping a soft drink in the car? Throwing down that last sushi roll before you’re late to that afternoon meeting? Perhaps you might be jamming toast down your throat as you walk to the bus in the morning (after ensuring the kids all ate their breakfast!). My point is, if you are not dedicating time to sit down and take notice of the meal, your brain won’t either.
Our amazing epicentre above is constantly creating signals and hunger cues in the form of hormones. These work as cues to let us know when we are hungry or full, and most importantly, satisfied. If you are eating on the run, or not even sitting down chances are the food won’t register as being eaten and you may find yourself hungry not long after eating. I can also guess that the food is likely to be chewed less when eating on the move, another indicator that you won’t be satisfied and maybe craving food very soon.
Take time to dedicate to your meals. Even if you only have 5 minutes, you would be far better to sit for just 5 minutes and think of nothing else than enjoying your food.
Savour every mouthful.
Relish the textures and flavours.
After the 5 minutes you might return to emails or whatever else may be pressing. Albeit short, your brain will have recognised the eating interval and will work with your hunger hormones to signal that food has been consumed. By making a concerted effort to do this, your brain can be used as an effective weight loss tool simply by some slight retraining. Bonus, by sitting briefly your stress (cortisol) levels might settle slightly too which will also be beneficial for weight management.
So this Christmas take your time, sit with friends and really think about what you are putting in your mouth. Take the time to enjoy every morsel and slow down.
Thank you to all of my readers, I wish you all a happy and healthy Christmas spent with loved ones.
I look forward to joining you again in 2016!
Thanks for stopping by, Madeleine (THG).
This post was written by Madeleine and first appeared on That Healthy Girl blog https://thathealthygirlau.wordpress.com/2015/12/23/you-are-how-you-eat/
Is it just me or do grocery prices keep going up? Then sneakily appear to come down ($2 milk anyone?). Now I’m no economist, and I can’t predict the future of grocery prices; I can however offer some tips for eating healthy on a budget. Because let’s face it, we can all benefit from saving a dollar or two on the weekly shop, leaving a few extra dollars for more enjoyable things.
Top tips for feeding your family on a budget.
Take more notice of appropriate portion sizes, and stick to them. This is particularly pertinent to protein sources such as red meat. Do you know what a recommended serving of meat looks like? See my earlier blog post on meat and alternatives for more information. If you buy your meat from a butcher, ask to have certain sizes cut for you. Don’t feel compelled to eat the entire 400g portion of meat that comes on a tray in the supermarket. By eating appropriate serve sizes, you might halve your weekly spend on red meat! That’s not to be sneezed at.
Grow your own herbs/vegetables. It may be an initial outlay for seedlings, pots, soil and fertilisers, but by using your own herbs you can save about $3 per bunch. Get the kids involved also, there is nothing better than using fresh produce straight from your own backyard, or balcony. Added bonus, less nasties and less food miles travelled. If you are lacking a green thumb or space, look for local community garden to grow produce.
Buy in bulk. Items such as milk, pasta, cereal, nuts and more can all be purchased in large quantities, which are generally cheaper. NOTE: This will only work if you still eat correct portions. If you buy nuts in bulk then eat more, you are worse off! Which brings me to my next point..
Take note of the price per kg. This is the single reason it takes me so long to do my groceries! I look at the price per kg for each grocery item, this is located on the price tag on the shelf in the supermarket. Generally speaking the larger quantities will be cheaper, but take note of sale items. Sometimes a 2 for $5 offer is still not as cheap as a larger sized jar/bottle anyway. Olive oil is a good example of this.
Eat seasonally. Due to demand in Australia, most fruit and vegetables are available all year round, this does not mean it is fresh, and we often pay a premium for it. Think frozen apples. By buying in Season you will pay less for available fruit and vegetables and actually get more nutrients.
Get into meal planning. This might take you back to university days when money really was tight, but by simply putting aside some free time to plan meals for the week, you will buy what you need and hopefully reduce those impulse buys at the shops.
Use leftovers. If you have done your meal planning for the week, aim to make more than you need for dinner. I make enough for 4-6 people even though there are 2 of us, this way there are always leftovers for lunch, and some to freeze for nights I don’t feel like cooking, or for when The Bachelor is on.
Bulk up. And I don’t mean protein powders. Get into legumes, beans, splits peas. Add them to any type of meal. For example use half the amount of mince when making spaghetti bolognese and substitute with red kidney beans. The added bonus is that you have more fibre = less likely to reach for the chocolate after dinner.
Eating healthy on a budget requires some planning and thinking, but it can be done. I hope these tips have been helpful, and I’d love to hear what your tips are for savvy supermarket spending and healthy eating.
Thanks for stopping by, Madeleine (THG).
This blog post first appeared on That Healthy Girl, written by Madeleine.
Nutrition Australia has finally updated Australia’s iconic Healthy Eating Pyramid. The refreshed images are hoped to convey a clearer message to Australian’s about the five core food groups, and how to include them as part of a balanced diet.
Did you know that less than 7% of Australians eat enough vegetables, and that less than half consume the recommended two serves of fruit per day?
At a time when nutrition seems to be more confusing than ever, the updated Healthy Eating Pyramid hopes to put the focus back on sensible eating.
Do you find this easy to understand? What works, what doesn’t?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for stopping by, Madeleine (THG).
This article was first posted by Madeleine on That Healthy Girl. http://thathealthygirlau.wordpress.com
The World Health Organization (WHO), National Health & Medical Research Council and the Australian Breastfeeding Association all recommend exclusively breastfeeding (no other food or drink) your child until 6 months of age before introducing solid foods.
So when is the right time?
Several things should be considered when deciding when to start foods with your infant. Signs that he/she may be ready to eat include:
Showing interest in food
Reaching for food
Following food with their eyes
Poking the tongue out when food is in eyesight
Being able to sit up right
If your baby is not receiving adequate breast milk and you are concerned about weight gain or nutritional status (always check your child’s growth with your GP, Paediatrician, Child Health Nurse or Registered Nurse first)
Using your infant as a guide, looking out for signs of readiness and starting somewhere between 4 to 6 months of age would be sensible.
From 6 months of age, babies require more iron than breast milk or formula alone can offer. For this reason, it is wise to start introducing iron rich foods.
This post first appeared on That Healthy Girl blog on the 5th May, 2015. The information posted is intended to provide some guidance only on this topic. Please consult with your Health Professional if you suspect that your child may be allergic or for specific nutrition advice.
Welcome to 2015. As we enter into a new year, have you thought about improving your health? Perhaps pondered making different food choices, or simply trying to cook more? Sound familiar?
January is traditionally a time for reflection after the Christmas holiday break and over-indulging. Often weight loss thoughts come to mind. Don’t be tempted to look for a quick fix solution that promises instantaneous results. More often than not, they are just that, a “quick fix”, it will inevitably leave you feeling worse when you return to your regular eating patterns.
If you are contemplating making some changes, think about what you tried last year. What worked? Were there any simple changes that you were able to implement and maintain? Start small to begin with.
Example: if you buy lunch out every day during the week, start preparing it from scratch at home 3 times a week, this way you are in control of what you are putting in your mouth, this also allows for more creativity!
Start the year as you mean to finish, and you might find that at the end of 2015 you feel confident with your efforts, and are motivated heading into the new year!
This year I look forward to offering more information and tips, as well as some exciting new content. Be sure to sign up to my blog if you have not already, so you don’t miss a thing. You can follow by using the tab on the top right had sidebar.
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