3 Steps I'm Taking to Eat More Mindfully

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October 01, 2015

You know what I'm really, really horrible at? Not eating ice cream five times a day just because I feel like it. 

You too?

That makes me feel better. 

It's really really easy to get in that habit of eating whatever you want, whenever you want, without thinking about the consequences. I've definitely learned the hard way that there are consequences to that kind of thinking (i.e. getting fatter than you want to be), but it's still a really easy trap to fall into, right? So over the last few weeks, I've been trying to eat more intuitively, focusing on what my body really wants at a given moment in time. Here's what I've been working on:

1. I decide what I want to eat before go to get it. 

If I'm bored or want a snack for whatever reason and go to the fridge or the pantry, you know what I eat. I eat everything, that's what. I'll decide that some pretzels sound good...but then after the pretzels I'll realize that what I really wanted was some leftover quesadilla...and then after that (half the time) I'll realize I was just thirsty and needed some water. 

So instead, before I go into the kitchen, I'm trying to think about what I really want at that moment. Is it ice cream? Is it some fruit or crackers? Or really, am I just thirsty? Or maybe I don't really want food at all, I'm just bored. If I really want ice cream, I'll usually have some, but only if I'm sure it's going to satisfy me. Make sense?

2. I think about how the food will make me feel in the future. 

This is actually sort of two-pronged--you have to think about how a food will make you feel mentally and physically, because those are two different feelings when it comes to food. 

Mentally, there are some foods that I've labeled so thoroughly as "bad"foods (whether justifiably or not) that if I eat them, I tend to feel bad about myself and it actually affects my food. And while I probably shouldn't be labeling my foods in that way, it's something to consider. If I'm going to feel upset at myself for eating a food, it's probably just not worth eating. Likewise, physically, there are some foods that I love but aren't worth the nasty feeling they leave in my stomach (I'm looking at you, Panda Express).

3. I'm becoming less afraid of hunger.

Oftentimes, if I know I'm going to be busy for a few hours, I'll eat a big snack, just so that I don't get hungry later. But that's really not how I'm trying to do things. There's nothing wrong with feeling hungry for an hour or two--if anything, it makes it easier to be in touch with how your body is feeling. 

Do you try to eat mindfully? Any tips for me?

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