Food and everything surrounding it is kinda funny nowadays. We are living in a world of constant dieting, overeating or starving. Asking: are you vegan/paleo/breatharian is like asking people if they are republicans or democrats. You get to know A LOT.
Number one emotion connected to food nowadays is confusion. Let’s look at an example. Paleo is pro meat and fat, while vegan diet is carbs based and typically lower in fat and protein. Every “camp” has its pros and cons and every camp is kinda right (but that’s for another post). Everyone shares one common thing, though. They know that food is IMPORTANT. And somehow along the way we stopped it treating as such.
Food for us means two things. Fuel and pleasure. Fuel because of the nutrients that we need to live and function properly. Pleasure because food (especially carb-heavy) stimulates serotonin aka “happy hormone”.
The best thing you could do for yourself today and tomorrow and from now on is to bring MINDFULNESS to your eating. Meaning:
FOCUS on your food when you eat it. I don’t mean chewing every bite 200 times but simply eating mindfully by listening to your body and enjoying the exprience. Fun fact: I am the worst person at work at lunch hour. I almost always bring my own food (cannot believe how most Prague restaurants still did not catch the concept of healthy eating) and I do not want to be disturbed. I just stare at my food and eat my food. I do not go to YouTube, I do not read magazines, I do not talk to my colleagues. I eat.
What difference does it make? Mainly, you will know when to stop. By being more mindful and aware, you will know better when you are actually full. When you start practicing this “approach”, you will notice that you are enjoying food much more. I am always thinking about it the way that I have only 3 meals a day I can eat (if I am hungry, I eat, of course but my typical number where I stop is 3). How can I get the best out of the 3 meals? First, by not eating crap and eating the most nutrient dense food out there instead. And second, by focusing on it and enjoying it. If not being mindful around my food, I would definitely need a 3pm pick me up snack, as well as something sweet after dinner. Because I would not feel fully satiated.
It is a small tip that is a start for a much bigger shift to healthy patterns. It pushes you to think about your food differently.