Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Unconscious Eating..........

People often poke fun at me because I am eating my breakfast at 11:30 AM.... The majority of folks I know are geared up for lunch by that time and have already called in or faxed over their delivery requests to the local deli.  I do tend to eat breakfast a little later than most people but that is because I really am not hungry and I don't believe in force-feeding myself.  All I need first thing in the morning is a cup of coffee, a shower, and to get out the door in time to catch my train.

I eat when I am hungry.  I want my body to burn everything I have put into it before I start feeding it again.  It's a trick that seems to work for me. If I get a little hungry in-between meals, I might snack on some fresh fruit or vegetables or a piece of cheese but that rarely happens.

One thing I think we are all guilty of is "unconscious eating".  We wake up and immediately fix something to eat because we tell ourselves it's morning, it's breakfast time, and we need to eat.  At 12 noon, when everyone else is leaving the office to break for lunch, or having food delivered, we join in and eat whether we are hungry or not.    I usually start thinking about lunch around 2PM.  If the office is having food delivered from one place, I might put in my order, but I don't start eating it until later in the day...when my body tells me I am hungry.  Of course, I have the luxury of working at a desk in a great environment where clients rarely visit, so munching at my computer is never an issue.  Some people are not so fortunate and have assigned breaks. I completely understand that and if you happen to be one of those people, by all means, eat.....don't skip a meal.  Unconscious eating is putting something you don't need into your mouth because you are bored or just because everyone else is doing it. How many times have you eaten breakfast at 7AM at home and then arrived at the office to a big spread of bagels, cream cheese, and assorted danish.  Impromptu Employee Appreciation Day! That's very nice and thoughtful and because everyone else is doing it, you do.  Now you have just eaten 2 breakfasts and put more into your body than it is accustomed to burning and more than it needs.  If you are super-disciplined and count that 2nd breakfast as an early lunch and don't eat again until dinner, that could be a good thing but when dinner-time arrives you will be completely ravenous because too much time has gone by since your last meal.  When you are ravenous you will be tempted to over-eat at dinner or even worse, consume an entire bag of potato chips while waiting for your meal to cook. It's perfectly acceptable to take one of those bagels, wrap it in paper towel or napkin and save it for lunch time.  When everyone else puts in their order for lunch a few hours later, ask for a 1/4 lb of tuna salad, or some low fat cheese, or turkey breast and eat that with the bagel when you are ready.  Even better, depending on what you had for breakfast, just eat the tuna, cheese or turkey breast, bring the bagel home and break into small pieces and feed it to the birds later.  By the time lunch rolls around, no one will notice you never ate the bagel you took earlier.  TRUST ME!!

When I say eat when you are hungry, I don't mean waiting until your stomach is continuously growling and rumbling and disturbing everyone in the office.  Don't wait until you are dizzy, or on the verge of passing out from lack of food.  If you wait until you are completely starved, then you will be tempted to eat just about anything.  You will over-indulge or make choices that are not healthy. Just listen to your body!  It will tell you when its ready to eat again.  Be conscious of when, what and why you are eating.  Is it because everyone else is eating?  Is it because you are bored and there is nothing else to do? Are you making unhealthy choices because you don't want to be the only one eating a salad while everyone else is eating roast beef and gravy on heroes from the deli?

A few weeks ago, my sister and her husband came over to spend the day.  They brought freshly caught cod fish with them to prepare for dinner.  In the meantime, everyone was hungry and we needed to wait for my son to get off work so it would be a few hours before preparing and serving the fish.  They ordered a pizza to eat in the meantime. I asked that a tossed house salad be added to the order.  While everyone else sat around the table eating 2 or three slices of pizza, I took one bite of my sister's piece, and happily ate my salad.  What I found completely amusing is that my family kept sticking their forks into my salad!  Later on, when the delicious dinner was finally served, no one was really that hungry but they sat and gorged themselves anyway and could barely move from the table after.  I doubt they truly enjoyed the meal.  How could they when they were still so full from what they had about 2 hours earlier? They cursed themselves for having the pizza earlier and admitted they should have had a salad or something lighter instead. What do you think their bodies did with all that excess food? Well.....unless they ran a marathon after dinner...... it was stored as excess fat and calories! That equals weight gain!!

The next time you sit down to eat a meal you really don't want just because everyone else is, raiding the fridge or pantry while watching TV after dinner, or munching on that donut or danish with coffee at work when you just had breakfast an hour ago, stop and ask yourself " Why am I eating this?"  It's OK to get up from the table, sip on a drink instead, or to take one bite of the donut or danish (just to have a taste) and throw the rest away. Be conscious of what you are eating and why.  Chances are, there is something else you really want.  We will talk about that another time........

And this is my Daily Cyn............

No comments:

Post a Comment