Do you feel like you lose your mind around certain foods? Do you binge eat? One of the things I used to do years ago, before I started on a “diet”, was to eat everything that didn’t run away from me the day before my “diet” was to begin. So what did that do to me? First, it made me feel lousy when I went to bed that night and woke up the next day. I had what I call a food hangover. My blood sugar would be all over the place so I craved the foods I consumed in great volume the day before. This made it tough to start my “diet”, so I would delay it another day to quell my cravings with the foods I was trying to avoid. This cycle made me a serial “dieter” and ultimately led to my large weight fluctuations.
I was also always, and still am, a fast eater. I have, for years, often not given myself the proper amount of time to sit down, relax and eat slowly and mindfully. By eating quickly, you don’t give your brain the time it needs to realize you have enough, or even more than enough, food in your stomach. It takes your brain about twenty minutes to catch up with your stomach. If you stuff your food quickly, you may find yourself overeating before you even know you’ve had enough.
Mindfulness, in general is a Buddhist philosophy that brings your rapt attention to what you are currently doing and the feelings experienced while you are engaged in the task. It’s a form of meditation and helps you to recognize feelings and emotions. Mindful eating is the practice of giving your full attention to the food in front of you and your consumption of it, how you feel as you eat emotionally and physically.
To practice mindful eating, follow these steps:
- Sit down away from distractions like the television, computer, phone, or anything that can take your attention away from the food and eating it
- Eat slowly, chewing every bite until it is almost liquid in your mouth. Digestion begins in the mouth and the more of a head start you give the digestion process in your mouth, the more nutrients are available to you.
- As you eat, feel the physical cues your body is giving you. Are you feeling satiated? Does the food taste good? Is the texture pleasing?
- Before you eat, make sure you are feeling true hunger and not a reaction to a stressor in your life. If you are truly hungry eat something that is nutritionally sound and not junk food. If you don’t care to eat something good for you, chances are you weren’t really physically hungry in the first place.
- Try not to eat while you are feeling stress. Stressful eating affects digestion and may lead to poor food choices. If you are feeling stressed, go for a short walk or sit and do some deep breathing to help relieve some of the stress before you stuff your feelings.
- Be aware of the aromas, the texture, the visual impact of the food as you slowly eat and savor every bite.
- Never eat while you are watching television or are engaged in other activity where your attention is not on the food or the act of eating. This leads to mindlessly consuming volumes of food without you even being aware of it.
Mindful eating is good for weight management, stress management, portion control and helping to get in touch with your feelings. Try it the next time you get hungry.
Are you dreading the holidays, knowing that you won’t be able to wear the same clothes on New
Years that you wore at the beginning of the feeding frenzy we call the holiday season? Are you worried that you might undo all the good you have done recently for your health? Do you think you might go off the rails with your food choices? Do the holidays get really stressful and cause you to make food choices that may not be very healthy?
If any of the above scares you, I can help you get through the next two months with my Healthy Holidays program. And you won’t even have to leave the comfort of your home.
I am offering SPECIAL PRICING until THURSDAY 11/14 for anyone who signs up by then. The regular price of this program is $297 but until 11/7, the price is only $247…that’s a $50 savings!
If you would like to have a free consultation about the Healthy Holidays program, click here to schedule a no strings attached call.