making food choices

It is a continuing battle when choosing the right foods to maintain our weight lose, and when you screw up at times, dropping that extra weight is no easy task. For many of us at times it seems an impossible task.

It always appears that those extra pounds sneak on but when it comes to shedding them, they are not embarrassed at hanging around, and getting rid of them becomes a real job!  It can become quite discouraging at times.

That extra piece of toast with the extra thick layer of marmalade didn’t look fattening at the time, nor that ice-cream cone the other day when the temperature hit 32 degrees, but when those little extras become daily habits, yes, they do start to add up.

This will often happen to those of us who live with the ‘diet mentality’. The diet mentality is when we have an all or nothing approach and believe that the only way to lose weight is to restrict our food choices and stay away from our restricted foods.

So, when on a diet of this type, depriving yourself of all “bad” foods, you start to crave them and eventually give into that craving – often feeling like a failure. This sense of failure makes you feel like if you’ve had a slice of cake, you may as well eat the whole thing!

However the trick is to accept that you have eaten the small slice of cake and move on. Do not feel like a failure and do not beat yourself up. Think about how you will negate the small gain by changing something later of the next day. Small gains are easier to lose quickly, and small stumbles are easier to recover from.

Over the years I have tried a variety of different diets, trained regularly at the gym, played sport, and counted calories. But for me the real turn around came when I read about mindful eating and decided to also be a Non-Obsessive eater. Some days I do over eat, or eat the wrong things but I don’t beat myself up over it because I know that I will adjust tomorrow’s diet to compensate. I’ll eat a bit less, or cut out all carbs for a day, or eat a salad, or fast till 2 pm, but having become much more mindful of how, why and when I eat I am not eating mindlessly any more – and not feeling guilty if I over indulge occasionally. Note the key word here is occasionally. You may need other strategies if the over eating is becoming a regular occasion.

BUT this does not come naturally – to be a mindful eater you need to become educated. Learn what is “good” food and what is “bad” food. Decide what weight “range” allows you to be happy and healthy. Analysis the food you eat and decide what needs to be rejected and what new foods need to be samples. Plan ahead and think ahead. Start with this – THE PRINCIPLES OF MINDFUL EATING.

Its a learning experience and for me it has been the key in maintaining the progress I have made.

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