When that triple chocolate ice cream is calling my name, I try to ask myself, ‘What would Wonder Woman eat?’
Wonder Woman wouldn’t succumb to comfort eating or self sabotage. Wonder Woman would eat foods that would fuel her body so she could fly around in her invisible plan and kick bad guys’ arses.
It’s true, she’d probably reach into the fridge and grab an apple instead, but I’m not Wonder Woman and most of the time I succumb to my temptations and eat the damn ice cream.
A treat every now and then is fine. There’s a difference between thinking carefully about what we eat and obsessing over it. I’m seeing a lot of obsession these days and that in itself has to be unhealthy.
It’s all about being mindful about what we eat because we all know that when we are not mindful it can lead to eating handfuls of whatever is in front of us when we’re not hungry, emotional eating, binge eating…you name it.
I reckon Wonder Woman would be a mindful eater, and this is what she’d say:
Use your senses
Always listen to your body because it will guide your eating-related decisions. Turn off distractions like television, which can make it easy to lose focus and overeat. Look at what you are about to eat and observe the colours. Slow down your chewing and focus on the tastes and textures of your food. Breathe in and smell your food and its aromas. Using your senses means you will more likely enjoy your food instead of rushing it.
It’s all about moderation
More and more we see this idea that foods are either good or bad. I call codswallop. It might sound like a bit of a cliché but it is all about moderation. Megrette Fletcher, co-founder and president of the Center for Mindful Eating says, “It isn’t food that’s good or bad, it’s our experience.” To paraphrase Ms. Fletcher, she explains that it’s not about judging particular foods, it’s simply about categorising them because when you recognise foods that make you feel a certain way, it helps you to make informed choices in the future.
Get your timing right
Of course, when you feel like you could eat the arse out of a low flying duck, it’s probably not a good idea to order pizza or eat chocolate because the likelihood is that you’ll over-induldge. Instead, try treating yourself to these foods when you’re not so hungry.
Eat when you’re actually hungry
Just because you think it’s time to eat doesn’t mean you have to. Try eating when you’re physically hungry instead.
Don’t overdo it
Sometimes our hunger or fullness isn’t loud enough and we keep eating and eating, feeling completely and utterly stuffed at the end – not to mention guilty. This is where mindfulness kicks in, listen to your body and don’t ignore the ‘I’m full’ warning.
Eat your breakfast
If you eat a breakfast high in protein, good fats and carbs, and low in sugar, it’s likely you’ll get through the day without bingeing on crap.
Don’t keep stuff in your house that you know isn’t great for you
If your triple chocolate ice cream is sitting in your freezer calling your name every night, it’s pretty hard to ignore. Go out for dessert every now and then as a treat instead. Make it an occasion and enjoy every moment.
Enjoy your food
If you’re always leaving five minutes to eat your food in your lunch break, you’ll find yourself scoffing it down instead of actually enjoying it. Pre-plan meal times so you have enough time to eat.
Don’t let food worries interfere with your life
If you’re too rigid and restrictive about nutritious eating, you could find yourself having disordered thoughts or behaviour. If you’re missing out on usual social engagements or sleep in order to maintain your lifestyle, then you might want to reconsider. It’s simply not healthy having food restrictions run your life instead of being able to mindfully enjoy food. If you need help, see a dietition, who can put you on the right track.
Now go and enjoy that glass of champagne and chocolate, but just remember to do it mindfully. It’s what Wonder Woman would do.
Image credit: Wonder Woman Corseted Costume