Let’s face it, food is delicious and there its everywhere! Cafes about with delicious treats, supermarkets abound, magazines and books with yummy recipes, and tv shows with inspiring meals.
There is so much information about healthy eating out there… but many people are carrying excess weight. Why?
Answer: We don’t eat consciously.
Here’s a question for you: Do you eat at times dictated by other people/or timetables when you are not really hungry? Often we eat because everyone else is having a tea break, or we are at the café and cake goes well with coffee. The question is… are you really hungry or are you just eating? Before you eat, check in with yourself – am I really hungry or am I just thirsty? I recently did an experiment with myself and found I was eating between every massage client (every two hours) – I started asking this question and realised that I wasn’t hungry at all! I stopped having the food and found I could easily go 4 hours between meals.
Here’s the hunger scale….
1 I couldn’t fit another thing in
5 Comfortable and contented
7 Slightly hungry
9 The hoover
10 Im going to pass out
Once you have ascertained that you are really hungry, the next step is to eat more slowly. Why? Because most of the time we over eat because we eat so fast we bypass the mechanism that tells us that we are full. Yes, our bodies do have this mechanism but we need time to listen to it. Slow down.
There main reasons why we don’t pay attention to this mechanism is that we hoover our food down and we are not present with our food because we are mult-tasking… watch TV, on the phone, on the computer, reading, writing, playing games, walking or driving. Most of us can relate to this. Food is often a means to an ends and not considered to be an activity to do all by itself. So its no wonder we don’t know what our body wants to eat, when its hungry or when its full. So here is the easy way out…
- Eliminate distraction. Sit down and quietly eat your food. In other words… Just Eat!
- Take a moment to look at your food and appreciate where it came from
- Smell your food
- Chew it slowly and savour the taste. At some point you might realise that you have had enough of a certain food and you want more of another food. Before you know it, you are eating foods that you body really wants
- Enjoy the textures and sensations of food in your mouth.
When you do this two things happen:
1. You will notice when you are starting to feel comfortable and contented and approaching the status of full. When you get to that place ask yourself – do I want this next mouthful or am I full? If you are not sure, clear that table and wait 15-30 mins. If you feel hungry again, go eat!
2. You start really noticing what you are eating - through taste, smell and texture – you will start becoming aware of what your body really wants. You will naturally start selecting foods that your body wants and stop eating foods that you don’t want.
Elayne Lane teaches Weight Loss courses.
To join her next class click here.