Practice presence for your physical and mental health
By Keith “Temple” Trotter
In 2006 food companies spent 1.6 billion dollars to market mostly soda, fast food, and cereal just to children. In that same year quick service restaurants (QSR’s) sold over 1.2 billion kid’s meals with toys. Now you may be asking yourself how that pertains to me, well if you’re a Gen X’er you already know the answer. We watch a lot of programming that would be part of the target market. According to the Center for A New American Dream, brand loyalty can be established as early as age 2! This is loyalty that lasts a lifetime. The Kellogg foundation found that Americans create an emotional link to food companies as “nurturers” early in their lives, and thus having to think critically about problems with food companies “can violate people’s deep desire to be “secure.” That emotional link is why you allow yourself to go on auto pilot and make choices about food without even thinking about it. Here are 5 ways to get off auto-pilot, reclaim your life, and start winning the psychological battle for your waistline.
|“The mental energy needed to fuel the decisioning, will power, and self-control processes in the brain is finite and can be depleted through use.” – Case Western & Florida State University study conclusion|
- Ask The Question
It seems simple, maybe even a little silly, but just asking yourself the question “Am I here right now?” goes a long way to realigning the mind with the body. The body always exists in the present, but the mind has an infinite amount of wandering destinations. Ground yourself with this simple exercise as you move throughout your day to keep yourself off auto-pilot and support a healthy decisioning process.
- Recognize Your Surroundings
We don’t really realize it as we go throughout our day, but we are constantly casually interacting with food. You buy coffee, you pay for gas, lunch meetings, networking events, kids fundraisers, the list is endless and the whole time you are being exposed to food not as fuel, but as a comfort or convenience. Part of practicing presence is recognizing these casual interactions and having a plan to deal with it. One simple tip is to keep your water intake high. Most of us misinterpret our body’s signal for thirst as hunger. Keep your water intake high and you will see a big difference in how often those signals come.
- No Food In the Fast Lane
Americans are a busy people. We know that our eating habits for the most part, are unhealthy, but did you know that it’s not just what we eat that helps us pack on the pounds, but how we eat it? We are so focused on the business at hand that we wolf down our food without even tasting it. Most of the time we can’t even remember what it was that we ate. Slow down. Take time to chew, savor, and really enjoy your meal even if it’s just PB&J. Try and get the most you can out of your food. Studies have shown that people who chew their food properly actually eat less and have fewer digestive issues.
One of my favorite new terms from the lexicon of psychology is the concept of “Decision Fatigue.” According to studies conducted by Roy Baumeister at Case Western & Florida State Universities, the mental energy needed to fuel the decisioning, will power, and self-control processes in the brain is finite and can be depleted through use just like any other muscle in your body. If you are not getting the proper amount of rest each night you are already at a disadvantage. Make rest your number one priority in the care of self
- Take Inventory of Your Energies
According to nutritional experts, seventy five percent of overeating is caused by emotions. People often eat to relieve stress or to comfort or reward themselves. The hidden issue is that the stress and the insulin jump that comes with it, may actually cause us to crave high-sugar, high carbohydrate foods. These foods are quickly converted into fat, and you guessed it, results in more stress. So just like in tip number 2, you need to be aware of not just your physical, but your emotional milieu as well.
About the Author:
Chicago Native and Twin Cities area author and founder of the Temple Global Consulting Group, Morgan James bestselling author Keith “Temple” Trotter started off as a successful finance and operations manager. His life changed forever when a photo of him weighing 386 pounds showed up in his Facebook timeline. Since then he has lost over 160 pounds and his incredible journey has been featured in The Huffington Post, on Dish Network and CNN.com, along with countless radio interviews. Temple is passionate about helping others lose weight and make sustainable, transformative change in their lives. Connect with Temple on Facebook on twitter @TempleTrotter at www.100smallsteps.com or the blog at www.100smallstepsblog.com Tune in every 3rd Thursday of the month at Noon to hear Temple and Co-Host Skye Edwards talk Health & Wellness on the Simply Haneef Radio Show. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/simplyhaneef