How many of you have opened an Easter egg or bar of chocolate only to realise 15 minutes later that it has all gone? You check just to see if the dog (or your partner) has a guilty look on its face, or if the chocolate has fallen down the side of the sofa but no…it’s all gone…you’ve eaten it all and not even noticed or enjoyed eating it! What a waste! The same thing happens with wine too, so I’m told!
So, what happened?
Well I can almost guarantee that you were doing something else at the same time. We often see it as a treat to sit in front of the TV with some chocolate or wine, catching up on our favourite shows, and that’s OK as long as you don’t do it all the time but the thing is, it distracts you from what you are doing, that is, scoffing all of that chocolate.
Now your brain is an amazing thing. Your brain will automate something that you do regularly, for example you only have to think about your journey to work or the school run and how you rarely remember the actual journey unless something unusual happens. You don’t have to think about “mirror, signal, manoeuvre” or about using the clutch, break, gear stick or accelerator…you just do it. In this instance this is a good thing but sometimes our brains automate unhelpful behaviours, such as bad eating habits.
I was born in the 70s and grew up in the 80s (some would disagree with the 'growing up' bit!). There was a lot of media exposure around people in other parts of the world suffering terribly from famine. As a result, my generation were ‘trained’ by our parents to clear our plates of food, regardless of what was on it or how much because those people in Africa were literally dying from lack of food so who were we to waste what we were given. Many before and after have also been taught to eat this way for various reasons eg post rationing or due to the recession where people are mindful about their finances. So as adults, we tend to do the same thing, we just clear our plate. This is fine if our food and portion sizes are healthy but at this time of year, when many of us are spending time with our families over Easter or going away on holiday, there is a high probability that we are going to overeat or eat unhealthily.
Now you have a choice…you can either just see it as something that is short-term and inevitable, and just enjoy the time spent with friends and family; or you could make some small tweaks which will help stop you eating too much, whilst at the same time, not feeling that you are missing out:
These are just a few techniques that we can employ easily all the year round, not just during the holidays.
Have a go at some of these over the Easter break and let us know how you get on.