Hope you have had some time to reflect on life thus far this month. If not, read our blog post on reflecting on you so that you can bet on yourself in the future. Roll the dice on you.
This week among others in December is the time when we as Westerners tend to eat more food than any other time of the year, sometimes even more than Thanksgiving because of the endless gatherings. This year, try to be more mindful of what and why you are eating the foods you encounter. Are you eating because you are hungry or because you are feeling a certain way or just because the food is readily available in your presence?
Types of Eating
Emotional Eating – Attempts to suppress emotions or moods. Emotional eating is often used to make one forget about their situations temporarily. Think of comfort food, it is the type of food people run to when they are feeling down and out. Some people eat when they are happy and eat emotionally to celebrate an event. Think you just achieved a goal and want to honor the event with some food; graduation, a proposal, a new job, promotion, raise, etc.
Physical Eating – Eating occurs because you are hungry or hear your stomach growling or realize you have not eaten and are in need to eat for maybe nutrition or energy purposes.
Unconscious Eating – Eating with no thought to what you are eating. To fill a void or just because food is readily available. Companies that offer free food sometimes have people that just pick up something to eat because the food is there with no barriers.
Eating Intuitively During the Holidays
1. Say No to dieting and guilt
a. This time of year, you should indulge a little, without going overboard. Eat in a small bowl or small plate so that when you go back for 2nds or 3rds it will only be one or two plates and you are done. Smaller portions will help psyche out the mind and help in avoiding guilt.
2. Eat slow
a. Enjoying meals is done when you can uses your senses like smell and taste to savor flavors of the food you are consuming in every bite. Make sure to chew a good twenty-five to thirty-five before swallowing your food; this is very helpful in the digestive process too.
b. Utilize your eyes to size up your meals. When the food looks appealing, take the time to use your eyes to put enough food that fits on the fork or spoon. Adding only what fits on your utensils allows you to be more mindful which in turn may help you to slow down when eating.
a. Drinking water which has no calories prior to entertaining or engaging in food will help you feel full faster and will help with not overeating.
b. Sometimes signs of hunger are dehydration, so drinking 0 calorie drinks or water before fulling up on food will surely have you taking in less food and will help your waistline and weight too.
4. Listen to your body
a. The body speaks. How do you feel after drinking water? How do you feel after chewing for a minute before putting certain foods in your mouth? Take mindful notes of how the things you put in your body this holiday season has you feel. If you feel good about what you are having, have some more or wrap it up for later and if you don’t like it throw it away. You are not obligated to eat anything you do not want to. You always have a choice regarding what you place in your body or your mouth for that matter. Be gentle and kind and understanding about how foods impact you everywhere you go.
It is the end of the year; just 2 weeks left. You have worked hard all year long, it is time to have some real fun. Intuitive eating is not for everyone, but this time of year do something different, allow yourself to be free to enjoy yourself and eat the things you may have deprived yourself of all year long but do so in moderation. You do not need to watch everything you eat, but you can be mindful about what you put in your mouth without feeling guilty and packing on too many extra pounds. This is really the time of the year to have a merry ole time. Need some recipe ideas? Visit.