Often feel unsatisfied after your meal and turn to more food, which leads to feeling uncomfortably full, bingeing or emotionally eating?
Busy modern lifestyles have created a huge disconnect from the body and you don't need to have an eating disorder to notice that the relationship to food needs a second look.
Mindful and intuitive eating is the most straightforward solution to heal the relationship, however one important thing often gets overlooked for full success.
If stress levels are through the roof and blood sugar is out of whack, the body naturally will say that it craves junk food, sugar and stimulants. Do not be confused, this is just the natural reaction of blood sugar imbalance. If that sounds like familiar, look into addressing factors that can contribute towards the imbalance:
- Excessive sugar, caffeine and alcohol consumption
- Skipping meals
- Increased stress levels
- Low protein diet
- Simple carbs and refined foods
- Excessive exercise.
Reconnecting to the body
Addressing blood sugar imbalance may get to the root of the cravings, but may not stop overeating and bingeing completely. Here are some practical tips and tricks how to incorporate mindful and intuitive eating practices to reconnect to the body's needs:
1. Start with one distraction- free meal per day. Focus just on the food, put away the phone or newspaper and turn off the TV. This is a private date with your food. Look at the colours, smell it and really taste it.
2. Put down fork and knife after every quarter of your meal. This way you are giving yourself time to digest and relax in between.
3. Wait at least 30min after you started your meal to get seconds. It takes at least 20min for your satiety receptors to recognize the food.
4. Eating with others can be a good practice, as you can engage in a conversation and really focus on taking time to eat. The positive emotions will add to the meal experience. However best to avoid it if people you are eating it eat quickly, with distractions and trigger you emotionally.
5. Recognizing emotions that arise and avoiding eating when feeling angry, upset or stressed. If that is unavoidable, recognize how it makes you feel and how it affects your meal experience. Remember, the first step to change is awareness.
No need to worry if some or all of the above take a bit of practice- you are learning a new habit and it requires a bit of practice. And the more it is done, the easier it becomes.