Most personal trainers and fitness professionals agree that when it comes to losing weight it’s 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. Proper nutrition is the single most important factor in a successful health plan.
It seems simple enough to eat less of the bad stuff and more of the healthy stuff, but for most of us, it’s not simple at all. The biggest deterrent to proper nutrition isn’t what we eat, but why we eat. I can attest to the fact that I am definitely an emotional eater. There are many times I eat because of how I’m feeling at the moment, not because I’m hungry. It could be boredom, happiness, sadness, etc. Of course, the more this happens the more I see my weight creep up.
Recently, I’ve learned a technique to help me avoid those diet pitfalls, and today I’m going to share it with you. It’s called “The Take 3 Method for Healthy Eating.” It’s really simple. It’s actually the first step in the Tabata Bootcamp nutrition approach. These three questions take only three seconds. You should ask them before you put any food, snack or liquid in your mouth.
- Am I Hungry? – This question focuses on listening to your physical body and separating out emotional decisions (i.e. cravings versus real hunger). Our bodies were designed to tell us when we need food. We should eat when we’re hungry. That’s why a yes on this question is part of the permission process. Do not deprive yourself of nourishing your body. Waiting too long to the point our stomach is growling puts us into a position of overeating at the next opportunity of food.
- Is it Smart? – This question focuses on helping us to make better food choices. Is it smart is the difference between are we looking at a chocolate brownie or a bowl of steamed broccoli. You will most likely know whether a particular food is smart or not. The real power of this question is how to deal with the situation when you know the food is not smart, and being able to then ask the question “can I make it smart?”
- How much do I need? – This question focuses on putting this particular meal or food into context of your eating needs for the entire day. When you begin to think of fueling your body for the entire day, then it begins to take the pressure and guilt off of each individual meal decision. Instead of saying I can’t have this because it’s not a smart food, you will instead begin to give yourself permission to have some of those “not so smart” foods in balance with how it fits into the big picture.
These three questions are important because they cause you to be conscious of what you’re about to eat. Most unhealthy choices are a result of unconscious decisions, emotional decisions (i.e. stress) or environment where people have truly not connected their mind with what they’re about to do. The three questions are designed to be a stop sign, and a decision process on how to proceed. It allows you to begin making mindful decisions regarding what you put in your mouth.
Again, these questions are the theme of the overall nutrition curriculum in the Tabata Bootcamp. If you’re interested in being a part of one of the three Tabata Bootcamp programs I’m offering in January please register through www.plantfoodrocks.com. An EARLY BIRD SPECIAL is available for the Atlanta programs. Register by January 1st and get TWO for the price of One! This way you can bring a friend.
Question: How often do you eat without thinking?