I was reflecting on my busy weekend this evening, sitting in my hammock in my backyard when I started to ponder what "winding down" really means. Of course, it will be different for each person but specific to nutrition, what do you do to wind down? Have you ever really thought about this?
It's a profound thought because I am sure many people believe winding down nutritionally means cheating or disengaging from their "diet". I believe there is a deep behavior component to winding down which I would encourage you to search within yourself to discover. Winding down means relaxing my mind and body. Will letting my guard down produce a negative eating behavior or response? For me, absolutely not because I am almost always in control of my perception to food and how it responds to my blood sugar.
However, the intuitive eating response may be blunted when you are tired, your mind "fried" from work or your body fatigued from training. If you find yourself eating something for no reason or are completely disengaged with the eating process (that is, the enjoyment of nutrients and satiety you receive from them), then you may have to spend a bit more reflection time in the behavior category.
Changing and adapting behavior is not easy and is, in fact, a lifelong skill development process. I would recommend one simple exercise to help you improve your behavioral realization process: ask the question, "Why?". Not in a negative sense but if you are reaching for something that you do not normally eat, ask yourself why and what is driving your behavior to make this choice. There is not a correct or incorrect answer. Rather, you are trying to become more intuitive with your eating in an effort to understand the "why" behind your food choices and how they are linked to your emotions.
Go ahead and wind down, enjoy some R&R but try to always engage with your "Why".
Until next week...