The connection between the mind and body when it comes to food and eating is strong yet hidden. We need food for sustenance, yet our emotional state can control what we eat. Our emotions are influenced by our work, social and family environments. This is why we are seeing a trend towards fragmented and unhealthy eating. People work all day, skip meals, get hungry and over eat. There is a tendency to lean towards more carbohydrates, as they increase the production of serotonin. Serotonin can boost our mood, but the results are temporary and that’s why we then resort to eating more processed carbohydrates. This pattern of eating can lead to obesity and depression. With all the distractions we face when we eat, we rarely focus on slowing down our pace and enjoying all the healthy ingredients in our food. We are constantly busy checking our phones or watching TV or even doing work while we eat. This prevents proper digestion and influences the bad food choices that we end up making.
So what can we do to overcome this new age phenomena of fragmented and unhealthy eating behavior?
- Don’t skip any meals. Try to snack in between meals with healthy options. Not candy!!
- Do NOT work while you are eating. No matter how busy you are, take a break and enjoy your meal. Even if it is for ten minutes.
- Try to have at least one meal a day with your family. Research has shown that families, who eat together, usually make healthier eating choices than those who don’t.
- Put away your phone while eating. Simply enjoy food for its value, texture, taste and nutrients. Focus on your meal. This will make you be more mindful of what you’re eating and help you avoid over eating.
It’s hard to break bad habits, but a real lifestyle change is not easy. We all need to be mindful, aware and put more effort into our daily actions if we want to build a healthier future for ourselves. Live, love and be healthy.