What is your greatest danger zone when it comes to mealtime? Is it eating alone? It can be all too easy to plunk down in front of the TV with a sandwich and a bag of potato chips. A half hour later, the sandwich, the chips, and your self-esteem have all been consumed.
It’s simply too easy to not think about what you are eating when you eat alone. So make a special effort to put systems in place to keep you from falling into the “home alone” trap.
Of course, if you live alone, you have a lot of opportunities to eat badly, so the tips and techniques below apply even more to you.
Here are some ideas for making meals for one healthy:
- If you don’t bring it home, you can’t eat it. The place to stop the impulse eating of snack cakes and other nutrient-poor foods is at the grocery store, not as you are heading for the cupboard.
- Buy healthy foods and break them down into single servings. For example, buy a tuna steak, divide it into two-ounce servings in sandwich bags, and put the bags in the freezer. That makes it easy to add fish to a meal for one. You can do the same thing with vegetable medleys, etc.
- Soups, stews, and Crockpot dishes make excellent multiday meals.
- Fresh beans, lentils, and green vegetables can easily be separated into single servings.
- There is nothing wrong with having a sandwich, as long as you stick to truly nutrition selections and avoid mayo, etc.
- Single meals are a great time to practice food-combination techniques and to implement eating several small meals instead of one large one. Avoid the temptation to turn two servings of food into one big stomachache.
- Don’t eat in front of the TV.
- Eat outside, if possible.
- Combine the meal with a leisurely walk. Get the best out of both worlds!
Meals for one can be healthy, delicious, and keep you moving toward you goal. Make an effort to set several near-term goals and discover how eating alone can become more enjoyable.
Authored by Dr. Gregory Jantz, founder of The Center • A Place of HOPE and author of 30 books. Pioneering whole-person care nearly 30 years ago, Dr. Jantz has dedicated his life’s work to creating possibilities for others, and helping people change their lives for good. The Center • A Place of HOPE, located on the Puget Sound in Edmonds, Washington, creates individualized programs to treat behavioral and mental health issues, including eating disorders, addiction, depression, anxiety and others.