Do you eat on the run? Eat while you’re multitasking? Do you hate to spend time eating because you have so many other things to do? Do you inhale your food? If you answered yes to some or all of these questions, you are leading a typical American lifestyle. As time goes on we get more and more pressed to get ‘stuff’ done (although I often wonder how much of this ‘stuff’ really needs to be done and what positive impact it is having on our life).
Because so much is crammed into a day, the average person doesn’t give much thought to or emphasis on: making eating a sole activity, sitting in a designated space to eat, or leaving time and space to cook on a daily basis. Focusing on any one of the above can lead to vast improvements in your eating habits and awareness of the effects food is having on your body and mind. You can then easily develop a good eating routine which will help keep you slim, energetic, and healthy.
Let’s take a look at the first two categories above: making eating a sole activity, and sitting in a designated space to eat. Much of our eating is done in a car, in front of a computer, in front of a TV, and eating while reading. Sound familiar? This gives us little time to pay attention to our food or to the other activity we’re engaged in. Our attention is always split. With a little attention, we can effortlessly move into a much better habit pattern.
Making eating our sole activity yields great benefits, such as learning what effect food has on our body, breath, and mind; seeing what foods we digest easily (or not); taking time to chew food well (i.e., 32 times per bite); and enjoying the flavor of food. If we don’t enjoy the flavor of the food, usually the food is processed and covered with flavor enhancers, artificial flavorings, preservations, refined food items, etc. As we pay more attention we pick these foods less because they are really not enjoyable to eat. We might even notice that they taste awful and we don’t feel at all satisfied when we eat them! This allows us to spontaneously make better food choices, and more easily reach and sustain a healthy and ideal weight. Plus, research has shown that it takes about 20 minutes for eating to register in the satiety center of the brain. Therefore, if we eat slowly we will feel more satisfied and less likely to snack. On the other hand, if we gobble our food down, we will probably get hungry sooner and be more likely to snack or eat anything on hand/convenient.
To help yourself with the process of making eating your sole activity, it helps lots to have a designated place to eat. At home, make this a spot away from distractions, such as in your dining room or kitchen. Let the space be clean, clear, and attractive so you are not distracted by clutter, mail, and other things going on. You might even want to put energy into having a nice tablecloth, dishes, flatware and napkins. Some candles or an aromatherapy lamp might also add a nice touch.
At work, be sure to get out of your workspace. Eating there is a toxic habit and can really make you sick. Go to a designated staff room, or eat outside or find a healthy place to eat near your workplace. The mental break from work will also refresh you so that you accomplish more work in less time when you return.
Initially, you might fight yourself on this one if you’re used to eating on the run. Some journaling might be useful for recording your thoughts, emotions, and body sensations. Also do some tapping (if you don’t know how to tap, find out by going to: http://www.makingweightlosseasy.com/QS-opt.html ). You are making a statement that taking care of you is now important, despite your past conditioning or present pressures.
Remember that the mind always finds an excuse and resists doing new things that are beneficial. But there’s another part of the mind that’s ready to move on and help us improve ourselves. Let that part of the mind be victorious!
If you are ready to tweak your schedule to make good eating a priority, call me at 317-445-4203 to set up a free consultation or single session starter. We will work out a success plan that meets your unique needs.
Carol Crenshaw is a Weight Loss and EFT Expert, helping hundreds of people weed through all the weight loss myths and providing healthy, fast and freeing weight loss solutions.To find out more about Carol and the weight loss programs she offers, go to www.MakingWeightLossEasy.com Both group and private sessions are available.