Jana Klauer, M.D., a New York City-based metabolism and nutrition expert and author of The Park Avenue Nutritionist's Plan, teaches clients how to have a healthier relationship with food. We listen in:
1. CONSIDER A FOOD'S PURPOSE: Before you eat something, ask, “What is this doing for me?” For example, spinach has vitamin A to help your vision. If you eat salmon, those good fats are going to be incorporated into your membranes and cells. Food really does become part of your body.
2. DON'T DENY YOUR DESIRES. Write down a list of your favorite foods, and come up with an eating plan that includes them. I'm not expecting anyone to stick to a plan that eliminates all enjoyment. One of my clients recently wrote on her list that she really loved caviar, and I said, "It's full of omega-3s! Have the caviar!" That's an example of healthy indulging. If you restrict yourself too much, it's not going to work.
3. EAT WHEN YOU'RE HUNGRY. So man women skip meals to save calories, but starving yourself is not healthy. Plus, it never works - your body is wire to seek energy when it's starving. I recommend eating four times a day; three meals and one snack. And plan for hunger.
Peak office vending machine use is typically from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. Instead of succumbing to that habit, pack a little cheese or fruit as a snack. And if you skip every once in a while, no big deal. Beating yourself up will only derail your plan and your outlook. Everyone has occasional lapses. Rebounding is a skill most people have to learn. Don't lose sight of the fact that if you're failing, it means you're trying.
4. STAY ATTUNED TO SATIETY SIGNALS
. There is a traditional Japanese concept called hara hachi bu
, where you always leave a little food on your plate and push away from the table when you're 80 percent full. This way, you leave the table satisfied, not stuffed. The theory is to show that you control the food - it does not control you. Assess yourself throughout the meal.
Are you satisfied? Do you feel compelled to consume every morsel on your plate? Ask those questions to gauge your hunger - and trust your body's signals to tell you when you've had enough.
5. VALUE THE MAGNIFICENE OF YOUR BODY. Remember, its an amazing gift. I don’t know about you, but I always appreciate it when someone enjoys or cares for a gift I give them. They don't leave it lying around waiting to be stepped on. It should be the same with your health.
- JENNY ROSENTRACH