How often do you eat because your stomach is growling and you are physiologically hungry? I ask because a lot of the time I believe we eat because we're bored, stressed, happy, or sad. Here's a challenge for a healthier 2008: Think before you eat!
Food is actually a means of survival, and yet with our indulgent lifestyles we've turned it into an emotional centerpiece. Foods surround us — as the center of almost every social gathering, as gifts, and as sources of comfort and reward. To live in this society and still maintain our health, we must change our thinking about food.
How often should we eat, for example? The old adage still holds true: three meals a day is good for us. Regular mealtimes can help our metabolisms to burn instead of smolder. Research shows that when you eat only one meal a day, you often overeat.
While some people do well with more frequent, smaller meals (perhaps six a day), such frequent meals don't work for everyone. Snacking is beneficial only when a person is physically hungry, and those calories are still going to count no matter when they're consumed.
So be mindful about eating. Before you put that bite of food into your mouth, think, "Am I really hungry?" If you are, great — go ahead and enjoy it. But if you're not, do something else that will take your mind off of eating. Be healthy this year, and think before you eat!