Food is supposed to nourish our body and mind. Besides that, it provides great pleasure and is an important part of our social life. This sounds so easy. But why do we suffer from guilt, refuse to eat certain foods while later binging on them? Why do we struggle so much with the basics of feeding our body and mind?
Guidelines vs. Instincts
We are so deeply connected to the idea of “good” and “bad” foods that we are not aware of how it influences our eating behavior. These recommendations often don’t even overlap substantially, depending on the theory behind it. In addition, eating is made so convenient. It’s available everywhere and – unfortunately – mostly targeting our instinctive preferences for sweet and fat. These frame conditions result in a couple of basic questions we should start to ask ourselves to reconnect with our inner wisdom.
Am I hungry?
Often, we decide to eat based on different external triggers like advertisements, smell, occasion and habitual situations (watching TV). In other situations, we eat because we feel sad, lonely or stressed. How often do we really ask ourselves: “Am I really hungry?”
What do I really want to eat?
Many judgments on how good or bad we classify certain foods influence our decisions.
If we really would love something warm and savory (which could be a soup), no amount of cold and crispy salad will make us happy. We will probably eat more of the chosen food, snack, and even binge later on the food we really wanted, to experience the desired satisfaction. Ask yourself “What do I really want to eat?”.
Do I respect my body?
If we love and respect ourselves we decide differently on what to eat. We choose foods to nourish our body, to keep it healthy and strong instead of just filling it up with garbage. “What does my body need right now?” is a great question. The answer might differ from situation to situation because it depends on whether you just trained, had an intense meeting or feel stressed.
Does the food satisfy me?
Satisfaction during and after a meal is a consequence of eating what we like and to savor it.
Taking time to enjoy the taste, to savor all the flavors and the smell is part of our eating experience.
Ask yourself during a meal: “Does the food satisfy me?” Sometimes we might even realize that the chosen food is not satisfying right now. What other options do we have? What else could we eat to experience our food with all senses?
When do I stop eating?
If we eat based on external or emotional triggers, how can we find a good point to stop eating when we were not even hungry in the first place? Our program to stop eating often includes things like an empty plate or being totally stuffed. Which means we feel not well when we finish eating. Ask yourself during the meal “Am I satisfied already?” Making yourself feel better when you finished your meal than when you started is a great intention. Feeling stuffed instead makes you worse.
Becoming more conscious
Becoming more conscious about why and how we eat is a great start to reconnect to your body’s signals. We learn to become more aware of what drives our eating and habits. There is no new diet which will help you to get in shape which makes you feel better. Learning to eat in a way which satisfies your body and mind definitely will. Take the time and start the process, even if it might take sometime after years or even decades of dieting.
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