Hungry? Bad eating habits are making us forget we've eaten
IN TODAY'S fast-paced, technology-run society Southern Downs residents are being slammed with busy schedules and are forgetting to look after themselves.
Healthy Lifestyles Australia dietitian Caitlyn Henderson said people were so busy they sometimes forget to eat or had forgotten they've eaten already.
"Some of us scarf down our food so fast that we're still hungry once we've finished," Miss Henderson said.
"We're not giving ourselves the time to enjoy our meals."
The majority of her clients were reporting bad eating habits, Miss Henderson said.
"There always seems to be something more important than acknowledging our food," she said.
"I see a lot of inconsistent eating habits, people skipping meals and then overeating later in the evening are the most common."
When food is consumed at a fast rate Miss Henderson said it didn't give the brain enough time to process that the body had eaten.
"Most people are left with a lingering sensation of hunger because our brain hasn't registered the food we've eaten and thinks we're still hungry," she said.
The dietician is encouraging her patients to take up mindful eating to help reduce bad eating habits.
"Mindful eating is a practice of recognising what we eat, when we eat it, why we eat and appreciating the food," Miss Henderson said.
The meditation-style food practice improves both physical and mental health, tapping into a persons emotions on why they eat.
"Emotions play a big role in deciding what we are going to eat," Miss Henderson said.
"There's heaps of different emotions which determine what foods you eat; stress, depressed, boredom or procrastination usually make us turn to comfort food.
"Being mindful helps people understand why they are eating those foods and can help make better decisions."
Miss Henderson said we shouldn't just be concerned about what we eat but also how we eat.
"People aren't enjoying their food anymore, they're eating at their desks, in cars and are distracted," she said.
"Taking the ten minutes to sit at a table, with no distractions and focus on the motion of eating, like the texture of food, the smell, the taste we will avoid those feelings of hunger later on."
By focusing on eating Miss Henderson said it would reduce stress by concentrating on the food and not other problems.
To begin a mindful eating lifestyle, she suggests to start preparing meals and always having a healthy option close by.