Most of us will try anything when it comes to weight-loss, whether it is the Grapefruit Diet, the Master Cleanse or one of the many low-carb plans. Mealtime becomes an exercise in miserable self-restraint, often made worse by the fact that the people around us (including our spouse and our kids) are eating something delicious and tempting.
Luckily, there is a better way. If you are looking to lose weight or are committing to a healthy lifestyle, my #1 tip is to start eating consciously. Bring awareness and enjoyment back to mealtime, and check deprivation at the door. Here’s how:
Make cooking fun. People often think of cooking as a chore, but the truth is, it can be a lot of fun! There are many healthy and delicious meals that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less. Enlist your kids to help set the table or wash the veggies, while you take control of the chopping and sautéing. When you actually prepare real food, you will feel more involved and satiated by what you eat. It sure beats poking a few holes in a Lean Cuisine and sticking it in the microwave.
Start a new tradition in your family. We have all heard the studies that tell us family dinners are beneficial for our children’s well-being, but they can also be beneficial for parents! It is your time to enjoy your family and focus on the people who matter the most. Make a family commitment to turn off the TV and ignore your cell phones for at least 30 minutes during dinnertime. When you focus on the meal at hand, rather than shoveling in bites during American Idol, you will pay more attention to tasting and enjoying your food, which means you will eat less and feel more satisfied.
Turn dinner into a sensual experience. Cooking can be a very sensual experience. Don an apron, share a bottle of wine, and listen to some music while you and your partner make dinner together. Not only will it give you a chance to talk and bond, but feeling, tasting, and smelling food can awaken your sensuality. Experiment with new recipes and have fun with it. Even the most inexperienced chefs can make low-fat pasta or a delectable seafood entrée.
By making mealtime an experience you look forward to and share with your family, you can ensure that you will eat healthier and also enjoy your food more. Eat consciously and feed your body real, nutritious food. You will feel better and look better as a result!