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Why We Eat the Way We Do

By Sandy Schroeder

Eating is so basic, but it can become complicated.  If you look closely, eating is entwined with the many other things that we do as we pursue our dreams and schemes. Our daily highs and lows often play out over the dinner plate. 

How, Why, and Where We Eat 

Just think of where you eat, when and why and then what happens. It can be so good or so bad depending on the choices. 

We eat to celebrate - A new engagement or a raise and promotion at work can prompt us to go to dinner and lift a glass or two. Graduations, anniversaries and new birth announcements work the same way. 

We eat when we are sad - When we just cannot get through to a friend or relative and each conversation is more difficult, that piece of pie can be very tempting. 

We eat out of boredom - When we sit too much and every day seems identical, it's easy to fill the gap with a spicy pizza or tacos and enchiladas stuffed with jalapenos.  

We eat when we are frustrated - When we can just not make our budget balance or our financial challenges settle down, second helpings soothe the pain. 

We eat to comfort ourselves - When friends and family just do not seem to understand, macaroni and cheese, meatloaf or mashed potatoes and gravy make us feel better. 

We eat as we cheer our teams on - Pass the wings and keep the chips coming when your favorite teams are up. Nothing makes a game better than your favorite pizza, or burgers and fries.  

We eat when we get together with friends - Parties, suppers, Sunday buffets and Saturday picnics all call for special dishes with favorites like barbecue, potato salad, ice cream and sodas. 

We eat at work and after work to unwind - After a very long week, toasting the weekend on Friday night with a few glasses of brew and lots of pizza seems just fine. 

What to Do Instead 

If you can relate to eating habits that add pounds as they lure you into comfort foods, here are some ways to think about food differently. 

  • Stock up on healthy choices in fruits, veggies and nuts 
  • Toss all of those bags of chips and tubs of dip 
  • Start cooking and baking more at home 
  • Celebrate with friends and family at home with healthy meals 
  • Make eating a separate event, minus the computer or TV 
  • Find substitutes for eating like puzzles, good books or biking, hiking and walks.  
  • Create some new activities as you replace time parked in front of the TV, playing video games or cruising the internet, with family sports, long runs or leisurely walks to the park. 
  • Develop a list of other things to do like shooting hoops with your kids, biking to the park with your family, going for a run, or heading to the water for a long walk. 
  • Skip the gobbling and create something as you crochet, quilt, sketch or write in your journal.

Wherever you are with food right now, make the effort to improve and thrive.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Schaumburg, Ill.

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