I am convinced that the body tells us when it is hungry and what it is hungry for. In order to “hear” what the body is saying, it is necessary to be down in the body and be aware of its needs. When you are present in the body and attentive and your body still asks for ice cream, cake, pizza, burger and mix even sweets in large quantities and all the time, then experience has taught me that it is most likely not your body that speaks – but your mind.
Many of us are stressed and live a stressful life and when we do that, we forget to breathe which makes us cut ourselves off from the body and can not feel its real needs. We subconsciously soothe emotions we do not want to feel with food, and this causes us to often eat too much food and the wrong kind.
Start by finding peace. Breathe deeply 10 times; it creates connection between body, mind and soul. When you are connected to the body, you can better feel its real needs.
Here are four ways to help you navigate your eating habits – here and now:
- Eat what your body wants
The first time I became acquainted with this phrase was when I read Geneen Roth´’s book “Women, food and God” which I can also warmly recommend you to read if you are interested in this subject.
In the book, I was confronted with this statement: “Eat what your body wants”. The sentence provoked me a lot! As if that would be possible, I thought! Either this method was as false as I considered the whole slimming industry to be, or the method simply did not take into account that eating what you feel like, after all, it is precisely what an overeater or (food) addict can not manage. I found out that there is a difference between the real hunger of the body and the hunger of the mind and emotions.
So, for the sake of understanding, I would like to rephrase the same statement to: “Eat what your body needs”.
So that did not mean I could just throw unhealthy food in me in unlimited quantities. When we do that, it is not the body that speaks, but rather the mind, the emotions and the hole in the stomach and especially the hole in the heart. I discovered that when I am alert and present in the body, my body actually tells me very clearly what it needs and I can safely eat what it asks for.
- Eat only when your body is hungry
Eat only when you are hungry, and make sure to feel in your body if you are really hungry, and pay attention to what signals your body gives you when it is hungry. Check out the different parts of the body and feel how they react to real hunger. The more you get to know your body’s signals, the more you can avoid to respond to that impulse that causes you to overeat. Both to a high or less degree. The feeling of hunger and being full comes from the body, so it is important to know and be able to decipher the signals it sends.
Trust the body and learn to distinguish between the hunger of the body, the mind and the emotions. To the body, food is gasoline and pleasure – nothing else. It is not a mood, an emotion or an act of impulse.
- Stop the first time you feel full
Many of us have for years not listened to the body’s hunger and satiety signals. We have not been listening to them for so long that we can hardly hear and feel them anymore. Start listening to them and stop eating the first time you feel full. The feeling of satiety is the body’s way of saying stop, and when you continue it is a different need than the body’s you pose. I was very surprised at how little food my body actually asks for when I listen to it.
- Eat with awareness, presence, attention and enjoyment
Be present with your food, taste the food and eat slowly. Pay attention to how your body responds to different foods. Avoid eating your meals in the car, while working, sitting by your computer or on the phone. Food should not be consumed on the go. Give yourself time to eat. Focus on the food and be aware of what you put in your mouth, enjoy the food and do not let it fill too much. Let go of the food drama – it is just gasoline. And enjoyment.