June 24, 2012 by
Do you think you should eat less? Many of us would answer ‘yes’ to this question.
In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives we have lost touch with our body signals. Are we eating to satisfy hunger? Or are we eating out of habit or some emotional drive?
Food is delicious and enjoyable. We eat to be social. We eat at set times of the day. How often do we eat because our body asks to be fed?
It is vital for us to become more connected to our body’s signals when dealing with hunger. This takes only a few simple steps. Before eating take a moment to consider the following:
- Why am I eating?
- How hungry am I?
- What are my emotions?
- Check your portion size and the nutrition of the food before you begin eating.
While eating, it is important that we think about the food as we eat it. It is important that we eat mindfully. We should not be distracted by television or computer screens or a magazine or newspaper. If we’re eating with a friend we should still take the time to focus on our food while maintaining conversation. Why not discuss the food as we eat it?
While you are eating:
- Chew your food fully
- Reflect on each bite
- Assess your fullness
When you have finished eating assess your mood and fullness. Has the food satiated your hunger? Did it make your emotions change?
- What is your fullness level?
- How do you feel?
Recording these 3 sets of observations in a food log will illuminate our food habits .
By taking the time to think about the food we eat and the reasons for eating – before, during and after we eat – we can make changes to our diet and food intake without inflicting upon ourselves the rules and restrictions of a “diet.” Diets can make us feel deprived. Eating mindfully and following our body’s cues will make us feel empowered and satisfied. Additionally, diets have a feeling of being temporary, a means to an end. Eating mindfully and following our body’s signals is a long-term option that will enable us to be healthy for life.