Mary Kmak has turned her life around, losing over one hundred pounds, and found a path to health through the Tucson Medical Center Wellness program. In Mary’s Promise she shares tips, recipes, challenges that she has learned along the way. Today, how she makes healthy choices when on vacation. Mary’s Promise reflects her experience and does not constitute medical advice. Please consult your primary care physician before embarking on a exercise regime.
Do you find yourself eating when you’re not hungry, or even already full?
Following the advice of the registered dietitians during the Live Well program I began to track not only what I ate, but also when I ate and what the circumstances were. Was I eating because I was hungry? To be social? Because I was bored? Because I was sad? Because I was thirsty?
I found I turned to food not only when I was hungry, but also to celebrate and to commiserate. Tracking what, when and where I ate highlighted what my eating triggers were and let me address the triggers rather than ignoring it with food. I found tracking to be one of the most powerful tools to get my eating habits to a healthy place and to identify the kind of support I needed to get there. Mary Atkinson and Laurie Ledford, registered dietitians at TMC suggest the following:
“Be mindful about when you are eating, what you are eating and how much you are eating. To help with this, we recommend keeping a food journal to track food intake and to also note times of day and circumstances surrounding the meal, snack, grazing. Before you reach for that unplanned meal or snack, HALTT, ask yourself:
(We often confuse thirst with hunger. )”
So whether it is pencil and paper or an app on your smartphone track what, when, where you eat and the circumstances around it! Look back over the week and check when you slip of your plan (you do have a plan right?) and come up with a plan of action to address that.
What are your overeating triggers?
Do you see a pattern in your eating habits? Is it the environment? Emotions? Specific foods? Do you gorge after six hours of not eating anything or mindlessly eat in the presence of a certain friend? Do you sit in front of the screen at work or at home and eat? Do you always feel snackish at 10:45pm when really you should be crawling into bed?
If you track your eating and see a pattern in overeating what can you do about it? Are there actions you can take? I try the following, but as always talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian about healthy steps you can take.
1) Pause and just wait at least one minute.
I tell myself to wait. “Do I really want this?”
When I feel the desire to binge I do several things instead: Take a nice long walk, start an exciting new project, call a family member or friend.
3) I interrupt myself.
Two bites into a cupcake and I start to feel guilty, I can switch to a healthier snack. It seems once my senses have been engaged, my body demands more food, but you can decide what to give it. A piece of fruit or greek yogurt with walnuts will help stop me thinking about foods I crave.
4) Hide food triggers.
I keep healthy foods right where I can see them and get rid of the unhealthy ones and stop bringing them home. (I personally live by this one)
I need more help:
You can get individual help from the TMC registered dietitians through the TMC Wellness program. Or join the TMC Weight Management Support Group.
Weight Management Support Group
Are you looking for a team of wellness professionals and like-minded individuals to encourage you on your weight-loss journey? Join us at The Core to learn all about TMC’s brand new Weight Management Support Group, open to anyone who wants to achieve and maintain a healthy weight! For any questions, please feel free to call the TMC Wellness Department at 520-324-4163.