H.A.L.T.

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Jun 17, 2014 Healthy Eating, Philosophy 0 Comments

I have little magnets with quotes all over my fridge. Quotes and advice that remind me to eat healthy and think positively. I figure the time I need the reminder the most is when I am opening the fridge!

And there is one that really affects what ends up going in my mouth – it says “HALT”. HALT is a term used in recovery programs and I first came across it in my work with eating disorders. HALT means Hungry Angry Lonely Tired. And it reminds you “don’t get too hungry, angry, lonely or tired”, or it will be hard to control your behavior. Anyone who has been so hungry they devoured an entire pizza, or so lonely that a pint of ice cream is barely enough, can understand. I, for one, can definitely relate.

For me, the word is all about stopping and taking a second to evaluate what I am doing. Why am I about to eat? Am I really hungry for food or just hungry for a hug?

And since I have a goal to feed myself healthy foods to keep a healthy body, the word HALT makes me take a breath and consider what I am about to start shoveling into my mouth. Is it in line with my goals? Is it the healthiest choice I can make?

It also reminds me to plan my food. To remember that I need to eat regularly in order to feel satisfied and high energy. If I go too long between meals, I am going to be desperate and eat the first thing I see.

Sure, sometimes I end up eating because I am too Hungry Angry Lonely Tired anyway, or because I am bored or want a reward after a long day. But more times than not, I am able to redirect and make a healthy choice. I think it is one of the most helpful tools I have come across for mindful eating. I use it daily and I always recommend my clients use it too.

What’s on your fridge?