Day Fifteen – Focusing on Eating
One of the first steps in learning to listen to your body again is… actually listening. For months or more likely years you have been intentionally ignoring your body’s cues. You have tried to ignore your hunger, resist the chocolate your body is craving and attempting to trick yourself into eating less.
However, the real truth is you can’t trick your body. The body knows exactly what and how much it needs.
Did you know that chocolate is actually high in magnesium and you need more magnesium when you are ovulating (well for you women anyway)? Yup, that is the reason you may crave chocolate before your period.
Fat is an essential nutrient and the main nutrient responsible for satisfaction after a meal. If you are trying to eat low fat meals and snacks it may be why you are cravings higher fat foods after you eat.
Carbohydrates are very important for providing fuel to our brain and our muscles. Imagine what happens if you aren’t eating enough.
In more simpler terms…your body is trying to tell you something.
We can’t expect all of sudden for you to start understanding what your body has been trying to tell you, but we can start working towards learning to listen to your body again. In order to do this, you must start paying more attention.
Eat all food without distractions
We have more distractions then ever…the cell phone, television, computers etc…
Studies show that when you are distracted you will either overeat or undereat. You will have less satisfaction from meals and be less likely to tell when you are full. In order to be satisfied you need to actually taste the food. You can’t taste the food if you are distracted.
You know this to be true, you’ve sat on the couch with a bag of something, you look down to see the whole bag is gone and you don’t even remember eating it. All of this just from distracting yourself.
Distracting yourself may be intentional and it may be unintentional. If you do not enjoy eating (remember last week and how extensively we covered enjoying food and eating again) you are more likely to distract yourself. What better way to just “get” the job done without having to sit with your feelings, right?
So, start with turning off all distractions. Silence the cell phone, turn off the television and turn away from your computer. Just focus on eating and only eating!
Focus on the Food
Stop. Take a deep breath and center yourself with the food. Give yourself permission to eat the food and enjoy the food. Then take your first bite. Taste the food. Does it taste good? Yes, then keep eating it. Is it crunchy, soft, hot, cold, sweet, salty?
Keep eating the food until it doesn’t taste as good as the first bite anymore. This is where the no distractions is really important. Most of my clients look at me funny. Huh, until it doesn’t taste as good anymore?
Keep checking in with yourself. Am I still enjoying this? When the answer is no, stop eating.
What if you start eating the food and it doesn’t taste good. Stop eating it. You could be eating for some other reason then hunger or it could be it just doesn’t taste good. Eating food that doesn’t taste good will not result in satiety. Without you satiety you will still be looking for food.
While these two tasks may be seem straight forward and simple, they are much more complicated than that. It will be considerable change from what you are used to doing. It may feel awkward or uncomfortable in the beginning, but you must check in with your body in order to listen to it.
Take note of how you are feeling and what comes up for you in all of this. I’d love to hear what you have to say! Please feel free to comment below or reply to the email.