Here is one big tip that to be honest with you, I still struggle with. Being present with your food. Just this morning I went down to the fridge and started to prepare my breakfast. I opened the fridge and saw some of last nights leftovers. I grabbed a small bowl of it and started eating as I prepared the rest of my breakfast. I went to the pantry and saw some cereal. It looked good so I had a bowl of that as I continued to prepare my pre planned breakfast. Once I got my breakfast, I sat down and watched a friends episode. Before I knew it the food was gone and I did not feel satiated. So I got up and went to the pantry again. That box of Trader Joe’s crackers looks good. Grabbed them and went back to the episode. I managed to finish the box (granted there were not many in there). Oh what is that on the counter? Those candied macadamia nuts? Yeah let me just grab a handful. THIS IS NOT MINDFUL EATING. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU ARE NOT PRESENT WITH YOUR FOOD… YOU BINGE EAT.
So I beg of all of you, please be present with your food. Being present with your food means you are sitting down at a table, your food in front of you, cautiously eating. No Screens allowed. No phone, laptop, tablet, Not even a book. Just you, your food, and maybe some company. This is the first step of being mindful when eating.
Step #2, listen to your body. Listen to your cravings because if you suppress them you may just eat more and more cause you wont feel fully satiated. Listen to your hunger cues. Are you really hungry or just bored? Maybe your thirsty? Maybe you just want to get eating over with or so on. Whatever it is, if you are not hungry, DO NOT EAT. Same goes for while your eating, have a few bites, wait a few minutes and if you are still hungry then continue eating. Take moments while eating and between meals to let your stomach digest. After you take these breaks assess how you feel and whether you should stop eating. I really struggle with this. I track my calories and when I have pre tracked calories I cannot, not eat them so even if I am not hungry I will still manage to eat a whole spaghetti squash with meatballs and tomato sauce. TERRIBLE IDEA. The more I do it the more I lose touch with my body and listening to those hunger cues. This is basically the whole idea of intuitive eating. Eating intuitively is listening to your body. Your body is so smart, it tells you what it needs and doesn’t need. My biggest advice here is to listen.
Step #3 DO NOT SNICKY SNACK. I have this problem where when I am hungry or making a meal I will snicky snack as I prepare it. BAD IDEA AT ITS FINEST. Then when I sit down for my meal I am not THAT hungry yet I still manage to gobble it down because I took the time to prepare it and it had been pre-tracked. So stop those little nibbles while preparing your food or before you eat because your hungry. If you are really hungry and cannot wait until dinner, grab an apple or piece of fruit, leave the kitchen and eat it mindfully. When you eat you should have everything you are eating in front of you that way you can really see the quantity you are eating rather than “forget” you just ate two bowls of cereal and a slice of toast before eating your burger and fries.
If you practice mindful eating and these techniques I can assure you that you will be more satiated by the end of the meal and will start losing the stubborn pounds. Your body is smart and it’s the only one you will ever have. Treat it well.