The quick answer is yes! Inflammation is part of the body’s immune response and initially it can be beneficial but prolonged inflammation can lead to chronic illnesses. Those of us with chronic inflammation may need to pay attention to how we eat. Eating under the right circumstances or conditions can contribute to reducing inflammation.
Hear are a few tips that I share with my clients about eating.
First, keep a food log at least for 5 days. This will help you examine your food choices, times you eat and where you may need to make changes. Keep the food log going at least for another two weeks if not longer to make sure you keep on track. Be sure to get adequate protein, and healthy fats at each meal as these macronutrients help you to feel full.
Reflect before you eat, take a moment and pay attention to how you feel. Are you upset, rushed, stressed or starving? Think about your needs and wants, more often then not they are different. This time will help you decide what you want to eat and how you want to eat. Eating under stress or in a rush leads to poor digestion.
Be mindful of when you eat. Take time away from work, the computer and phones. Unplug if you can even if it’s only while you eat. Paying attention to what you are eating, savoring the flavors and smells will allow your brain to know that you took time to eat. This allows time for the body to send the signals to the brain that tells us we are full.
Pause and take a few seconds before grabbing that snack that may not be the best choice and think about what you are doing and why. Pausing may trigger you to choose an alternative healthy snack.
Become the “picky eater” and eat food that is worthy of being eaten. If the food doesn’t bring you pleasure then don’t eat it. Save yourself for the good stuff.
Portion sizes matter. Use a smaller plate when serving yourself dinner. Pour snacks into a bowl so you can portion them out and know exactly what you ate. When we eat out of a bag we tend to eat much more then we need or want.
Lastly, give gratitude to what you have to eat, and how much went into preparing the meal or the company at your table. If possible bring back the family dinner.