If you want to lose weight and learn to have a better relationship with food, you are not alone.
Chances are you are thinking of what and when you will eat next. Can you believe that we make over 200 decisions a day in regards to our food choices? Talk about food obsession!
So often we eat mindlessly. We stuff food into our mouths while working on the computer, watching TV, or when we’re on the run. The true pleasure of eating lies in slowing down and fully experiencing all the elements of food.
Considering how much our minds are consumed with food, wouldn’t it be nice to clear some headspace for moments that really matter? Changing your eating habits may seem daunting and too much effort. However, and believe it or not, there are really four simple habits you can start today that will completely change your relationship with food.
Eating with intention and attention are key to having a healthy relationship with food. Eating only when you are hungry, stopping when satisfied and truly enjoying your food, even chocolate and bread!
To become more in tune with your natural hunger, to become a mindful eater and to simply have a better relationship with food, then try these 4 simple steps.
How to Lose Weight and Have a Better Relationship with Food
Ask Yourself If You Are Really Hungry
Taking a moment to acknowledge your body before taking that first bite and asking this question helps to gauge hunger and the reason’s why you are eating. There are three reasons why people eat: physical hunger, emotional hunger and binge eating.
Physical Hunger is a physical feeling of hunger and the need to eat to satisfy the energy requirements of your body. For example, when your stomach growls you need to eat to feed and fuel it or you will feel uncomfortable. Similarly you need to listen to your body when it is full.
Emotional Hunger is eating to fill an emotional void. Such as anger, sadness, stress, boredom, and loneliness. You eat to “mask” those feelings or to push them down deeper so you do not have to acknowledge them.
Binge Eating is unlike physical and emotional eating. Normal eaters simply do not binge. Emotional eating and binge eating can easily get confused. Emotional eating is eating to fill a void while binge eating is a reaction to perceived or real deprivation. Binge-eating disorder is characterized by uncontrollable, excessive eating, followed by feelings of shame and guilt.
Eat Without Distractions
Pay attention to your food when you are eating, and your life when you are living. It is interesting how we obsess about food all day and night and then when we actually do sit down to eat we try to distract ourselves or make eating unnoticeable as possible. Thinking that if we eat fast enough that maybe it won’t count? Creating a ritual around food, honoring it and actually slowing down to savor food is a natural process to help us eat more mindfully and for proper digestion. Listening to what our bodies really need and not what our minds are emotionally experiencing.
Similarly, the same is when we are experiencing life. How many times have you caught yourself thinking about what you will eat next when you are at a party trying to enjoy catching up with an old friend? All you can think about are the sweet trays that are circulating the room and whether or not you will allow yourself to eat one if it passes your way. The same is true in life; enjoy the moment and what is actually happening in real life.
Let Yourself Eat the Cake!
Giving ourselves restrictions around food does not work. In fact it makes us want it even more and to eventually feel shameful around food. When we tell ourselves that we cannot eat chocolate for example our minds start to strategize ways that it can get chocolate. We become obsessed.
Instead of saying no to a certain food start saying yes. Allow yourself to eat that piece of cake. Sit down and savor every bite without distractions. When I indulge, I choose the best quality that I can find: I never choose the “lighter” or “fat free” version. If I’m having cake I’m treating myself to the richest, gooiest piece topped with whip cream – it is the QUEEN of ALL cakes! See how that sounds and feels?
There are obviously some foods that you do need to eliminate from your diet for health reasons such as allergies, diabetes and sensitivities. It is up to you to know what those foods are and to use your best judgement.
Take Your Power Back
Never let food, or a scale control you. Don’t decline a social outing with your friends because you don’t think the restaurant has the certain foods that you think you should be eating, and most importantly don’t let your skinny jeans determine if you are going out tonight or not. Our emotional eating is mainly done out of boredom, stress or because a certain aspect of our lives is not being fulfilled. Your life can be awesome no matter what you weigh. And until you recognize this, it is really hard for food to lose its grip in controlling you.
Most women believe that after losing 20 lbs then that’s when they will start living their lives. They will have the confidence to start dating, to start their own business, to feel more comfortable, to have sex with their husband, to be slim enough to wear beautiful clothes, to be motivated to workout daily, and to be worthy of simply taking care of themselves and being happy.
If you are waiting for all of that to happen after losing weight then that means that you are currently not fulfilled in your life. You are lonely, bored, unsexed, unfashionable, not desirable, exhausted and simply miserable. Leaving you with the only pleasurable experience in life… food.
Instead of making weight loss a priority, think of making your life a priority. When you start to live more then that little number on the scale will not be as powerful and eventually your thoughts around food changes and your weight naturally settles at its set point without you ever dieting.
About the Author
Karen has over 20 years of combined experience as a personal trainer, nutritionist, transformation expert and holistic health coach. Her holistic health coaching offers an individualized process to help you move forward in life and to end the diet/binge cycle for good. Karen has had tremendous success working with people of all walks of life including high profile athletes and executives. She truly believes that every […]Read Bio Read Posts