Do you have good intentions to lose weight, get fitter, or eat healthier? Then reading this NewWaysBetterDays article is an absolute must! Those intentions are all connected to food, and with mindful eating. But what that means exactly and how it works you can read below.
Does food take up a lot of space in your head? Are you often busy with what you can and cannot eat, counting calories, making food schedules, and preparing food? Do you have an ideal picture in your head of what your body should look like and do you try to achieve it through exercise and eating a certain way? Do you feel like you are not allowed to eat everything and if you do eat something that is not healthy you’ll feel very guilty? Or are you always on a diet and then you’ll get into binge eating afterwards?
It’s a fact that many women have a difficult relationship with food and their body. However, mindfulness and a whole lot of self-love will help you accept yourself the way you are and let go of that eternal struggle. Fortunately, we do have a few valuable tips that can help you with this.
Listen to your body
We have all learned to eat wisely. Especially with all the trends that keep changing, we participate in what is ‘good’ and what is not allowed. We make nutritional schedules and think in advance what we can eat and especially what we can’t eat. But the fact is, every body is unique. What might be excellent food for some, someone else does not like at all. And your body is also changing while aging!
So, instead of eating what your head tells you, start listening to your body! And simply give your body what it truly needs! Because your body knows what it needs better than any diet. When you start eating, ask yourself what your body needs, what it asks for. Are you very or a little bit hungry? Do you fancy something light or something warm and filling? Make it a habit to connect with your body, then eat what it asks for.
When you are going to eat, eat mindfully. And by that we mean eating your food very consciously. Normally we just slide everything into our mouths on autopilot without really experiencing or tasting it while doing something else. It’s actually ridiculous that we often don’t even really enjoy something nice like food!
First, take a good look at your food and be thankful for it. And then eat it consciously, really taste it and chew slowly. And then notice how you’ll feel after eating it. Whether this gives you energy or maybe it just gives you a stomach ache or makes you feel sluggish.
Make a note of which food is good for your body and which is not. If you eat consciously you can’t get full either, because that doesn’t feel good! You’ll stop exactly when you are full, you digest your food better and you can enjoy your food more! You may even notice that the things you thought you liked are actually not tasty at all!
This shifts you from ‘wanting but not being allowed’ or ‘eating but feeling guilty’ to eating this because it feels good for your body.
Emo eaters and binge eaters
Are you a real emotional eater and do you regularly have huge binges? Then mindful eating will come to your rescue! It’s all about being aware and getting off the autopilot. Be aware if you want to snack, why is this happening exactly? Take a moment to think about it, and check in with yourself!
Are you filling a void? Do you feel lonely? Are you stressed? Is there something playing on the tv that you don’t really want to watch and that’s why you’re going to eat? Then you use food as an anesthetic!
Make a list of the things you can do instead. Like taking a walk, cuddling your cat, meditating, calling a friend, or writing down your thoughts. Feed yourself when you feel hungry and do not push things away.
Eat out of love not out of hate
Eat out of self love, not self hate! There is nothing wrong with eating healthy. Unless you eat that because you think you’re not good enough right now. If you eat healthy from a diet to meet a certain ideal picture, then that is not a good thought. The point here is, that this often doesn’t last and it doesn’t make you feel happy either.
And it’s mentally super unhealthy and that also has an effect on your body! It’s simply about letting go of this ‘ideal picture’ and accepting your body as it is. Only that way would you develop a healthy relationship with it. And instead of punishing it, you better give it some love! Instead of disallowing something or sending yourself to the gym 7 days a week, give it what it really needs!
Feed it enough, but not too much. Move, but also give your body the rest it deserves. Listen to what your body is asking for and give it just that! Then your body will automatically reach its own ideal weight. If you are overweight then you will lose weight. But if you are forcing your body into something it is not you, then you will gain some weight again.
And that’s okay! Since it’s better to love your body and keep it healthy and accept it, than spend your whole life trying to force it to be something it isn’t! When you eat something, then tell yourself it’s because this is what your body wants. Your body needs healthy food, and your body deserves the best! Just give your body some love and it will surely give you love back!
Let go of all control!
Even if it might be scary, this is your way to freedom. Because having control is an illusion. Because the more control you’ll try to have, the less you will have it! If you are always restricting yourself and are not allowing yourself to eat anything, then you’ll automatically have a huge binge session. Or if you want to have more and more control, then this can result in an eating disorder. By then you’ll have completely lost control!
So let this type of control and all its rules matter! We are often afraid that everything will go wrong. For example, eating three big pizza slices and a bowl of ice cream. But if you eat mindfully and listen to your body, this won’t happen!
Simply because our body really doesn’t ask for all of those pizza slices and ice cream, but your head does! You will see when you let go of this control, then that will get you back into the flow. That you are no longer constantly yo-yoing and reach your natural weight. The battle in your head will be gone and you’ll develop more self-love because you are kind to yourself and your body!