EATING UNPLUGGED / INTUITIVE EATING
Let’s face it, most of us eat our meals rushed, distracted, and in front of a screen. This is modern life, and yet it affects our entire relationship with food significantly. Imagine most of your meals at home: Where are you? What is going on around you? How does it feel to eat this way?
Why Slowing Down with Food is Essential for Your Health:
- Eating in the “Fight-Flight-or Freeze” Stress Response diminishes metabolism.
- Cortisol and insulin tell the body to store fat.
- When you don’t achieve satisfaction it continues to register in the brain as hunger.
BREATHWORK FOR MEALS
What to do? 4-7-8 Breath. Inhale for a count of 4; hold the breath for a count of 7; exhale for a count of 8. Repeat 3 more times before you eat and you immediately activate your Relaxation Response.
Ask yourself, Do I want to eat because I am . . .?
H - Hungry (hunger and fullness scale)
A - Angry
L - Lonely
T - Tired
Why is this so hard? For many reasons. Your conditioning and habits play a huge role. If you were raised to clean your plate and spent decades on a diet, you’re rewiring your brain and this takes lots of practice just like building muscles. This is a muscle of mindfulness.
Mindful Eating is less judgment with Food: Eating has become all about Good-Bad, Right-Wrong and this tendency can lead to emotional eating, bingeing and endless shame.
- Be curious: HALT
- Sit down and give gratitude
- Turn off all screens
- Serve out your portions
- Pick the smaller plate
- Give gratitude
- Chew slowly
- Put down your utensil
- Resign from the Clean Your Plate Club
Questions to Mindfully Ask Yourself with curiosity and kindness when eating;
- How do you feel right now? (HALT)
- What is going on for your right now?
- How hungry are you right now? (Use scale)
- Begin to understand the difference between Mind Hunger and Belly Hunger.
- How do certain foods make you feel?
- How do you feel after you ate that?
- How comfortable are you with setting boundaries with food-shamers and diet-crusaders, food pushers?
- Can you maintain neutrality around food?
- What are other ways you can soothe and comfort yourself that don’t involve food?
- What would it be like to not judge yourself harshly with food yet maintain compassion and forgiveness?