With all the nutritional messages the media is sending us, it has become almost impossible to navigate and know what to eat. And yet it is a quality that we had at birth but have lost.
And yes think about it, an infant doesn’t wait to be told to eat. When he is hungry he cries and asks for the breast, when he is no longer hungry he stops sucking. And we don’t tell him to continue.
Why don’t we eat mindfully?
Recognize our feelings of hunger, be centered on ourselves, we have lost everything because:
- received ideas : “think of the little Africans who have nothing to eat”, “Finish your plate” or “If you are no longer hungry for green beans, you’re not hungry for dessert anymore ”
- advertisements which always extol the merits of such and such a product
- nutritional messages : “eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day”
We put false labels on our feelings of hunger: “you’re not hungry, it’s gluttony” or “it’s noon, you MUST be hungry for lunch” or “breakfast is the most important of the day ”… etc.
Result : we no longer know when we are really hungry and need to eat
We don’t know if it’s just because we really want this cake, or because we are bored, or because we are sad.
While every metabolism is different
Each diet will be different depending on the person. Of course, there are the basics of a balanced diet.
But there is also all the data that we do not control: the more or less difficult digestion of a type of food, food allergies, tastes for certain types of dish, the environment in which we live , emotional state.
How do you listen to your body and its needs?
An attitude of “full awareness” related to our diet, it is a whole state of mind :
- Listening to our body’s signals: recognizing the different sensations of hunger
- Stop feeling guilty when you eat chocolate
- Stop demonizing food
- Knowing how to have fun with food
- Knowing the right foods for good health
- Knowing how to play with nutritional equivalences
Tip # 1 – What is it to be hungry?
- This hunger appears when you wait too long before eating or if the previous meal was not balanced
- She can be recognized by dizziness, extreme fatigue, stomach aches, for example
- Your survival mechanism kicks in
- We tend to eat too much, too fast and whatever
It may be that without feeling any hunger, we really want to eat! And this for various reasons: because we are bored, because we are stressed, because we are sad, because it is the only pleasure of the day, because it smells good, etc.
Rest assured, you are not alone in feeling this false hunger!
However, it is time to recognize that this behavior hides a real problem. Indeed, food then comes to fill a need which is not physiological:
- Need for affection
- Need to listen
- Need for valuation
- Need for relaxation
- Need for tenderness
- Need for pleasure
My stomach is growling, I have a feeling of emptiness in my stomach, sometimes with small cramps.
I feel a drop in energy, I have more difficulty concentrating.
When you FINALLY determine that you are hungry “for real”, you still have to assess your LEVEL of hunger !
To do this, get in the habit of quantifying your physiological level of hunger before a meal. After a while, recognizing and listening to hunger will be more natural.
The goal is to reach level 2 of the following scale:
- 0 = not hungry at all
- 1 = hungry
- 2 = normal hunger (gurgling, feeling empty in the stomach, low energy)
- 3 = intense hunger (I’m starving)
Tip n ° 2 – Eat enough, no more
In general, we say that it takes 20 minutes to eat a meal, because this corresponds to the time it takes the brain to understand that we are eating, and the signal that it sends back to our body to tell us: STOP, I’m not hungry anymore.
It is important to eat slowly .
The feeling of full stomach occurs later, when we have eaten at the maximum capacity of our stomach or more. Less subtle, this sensation sometimes includes slight nausea.
Better to stop eating before you reach this level.
Here are examples of adequate satiation signals :
- I am no longer hungry and I feel comfortable in my clothes
- My meal seems less tasty than the first bites
- If I was stolen my plate at this time, I wouldn’t mind
- I regained my energy
To assess your level of fullness, get into the habit of putting a figure on it after your meal. After a while, recognizing and listening to fullness will be more natural.
The goal is to reach level 2 of the following scale:
- 0 = still hungry
- 1 = not quite full
- 2 = well satiated, full taste pleasure, comfortable in my clothes, satisfaction
- 3 = too full, more pleasure in the mouth
- 4 = sick, I’m going to explode
Tip # 3 – Recognize when I’m going to crack
The risk factors that can make us fall for “bad” diet foods:
- stress at work
- the meal eaten with friends
- romantic weekend
Take responsibility in the face of cracks
We know the situation and yet we fell for it. We have the right!
But in this case, we can’t just blame it on what made us crack because we knew about it. If we fall for it, it’s also because we had decided.
A responsible attitude is the ability to take charge of your actions and food choices, instead of blaming your excess on external risk factors.
There are a number of other tips for following the path to mindfulness .
There are as many as there are people ready to embrace this change.
It all depends on your personal situation: state of mind, environment, personal history … etc.
Individual work and personalized individual follow-up are often essential. It is a long term job to shake up all these bad habits acquired over the years. It takes a minimum of willpower to change your habits regardless of the desired goal.
Between total control of our food intake and letting go of our food cravings, there is a balance.
If you find the baby in you, who naturally adjusts the amount of food according to his physiological needs, you will find great freedom in relation to food, better energy, better general well-being and better weight management.