How do you feel when you eat certain foods? This might sound like a bizarre question. Have you ever really stopped to pay attention to your body and how it reacts to certain foods? I was pondering this earlier today. I was in a rush and couldn’t go home to eat lunch, so I stopped for a burger and fries. It has been a while since I’ve done this. This isn’t because I think these foods are bad. It isn’t because I avoid them to follow a food plan or “watch my weight”. I just haven’t had the desire. Within minutes, I felt sick. The food felt heavy and greasy in my stomach. I began feeling bloated and lethargic soon after. Ah. This was why I haven’t had the desire to eat it. Although I hadn’t consciously made the effort to avoid these foods, my body had been telling me I didn’t want them. Without knowing it, I was listening. Believe me, this has not always been the case for me. I was once a drive through junkie. Multiple times per week and sometimes daily, I would have found myself going through a drive through of one fast food restaurant or another. I would have eaten it very quickly and probably wouldn’t have tasted it. I was also so out of touch with my body, I would not have noticed how it made me feel. Once I started paying attention to food, I learned that foods I thought I liked weren’t as desirable. I didn’t stop eating them because I couldn’t or “shouldn’t” have them. I just didn’t find them as delicious as I had once thought. I started paying attention to my hunger and fullness. I realized that what typically drove me to eat fast food was my hunger getting so intense that I couldn’t bear to wait to eat something else. I needed food and I needed it immediately. I also realized that I ended up feeling too full many times because I ate too much and too quickly. When I slowed this process down, it was remarkable how little I really needed to be satisfied. My challenge to you is to pay attention the next time you eat:
Do you really like the way your food tastes?
What do you like about it?
What do you dislike about it?
How hungry are you 1-10 (1 being famished and 10 being stuffed)?
How full are you after eating ¼ of the food?
How full are you after eating ½ of the food?
If you aren’t hungry, but want to keep eating, what are you hoping to feel?
How does your body feel 30 minutes after eating?
How does your body feel one hour after eating?
We are so out of touch with our bodies. This is never truer for most of us than when we are eating. Slow down. Make eating a mindful process and you will probably find you enjoy eating more than ever.