Stop overeating! How to control portion and eat healthy?
If you eat too much, exercises will not help you!
There is an excellent plan: a diet plus an intensive training. And a spectacular effect in the future... But before you will make that big step into the „perfect” future, maybe you should stop yourself here and now. Preparing meals consciously, eating consciously. Has it ever happened to you?
„End of this, time to start a new chapter!”. You often start hard work of dieting from that or other similar saying. Diet and resolutions like „from now on I am eating healthy” are entering your everyday life. Later, not infrequently, there comes the moment when you are fed up with the diet itself. You start to work out – because „physical exertion has to go together with considered way of nutrition”.
But as time goes by motivation is diminishing. It’s getting harder and harder to eat well and force yourself to workout.
Before making a step into the future to this perfect place where you are slim, consistent and fit, it’s good to stop and look sanely at „here and now”. From psychological point of view what and how you eat can tell a lot about your self-control mechanisms, difficulties in dealing with stress and negative emotions. Instead of making hysterical decisions in five seconds and in next five give up plans as “impossible”, observe yourself very carefully.
Mindfulness on the plate
Observe yourself carefully in the initial stage of a diet: how do you make decisions about food, how do you consume meal and how do you feel after eating. It is about understanding when your body sends “real” information about the hunger. Consider what is available, what do you really want to eat, make choice and... eat after that. Or don’t. Why? In psychotherapy's practice it is observed that meals aren’t only for satisfying the hunger.
Food can influence many other areas of life, such as safety needs, love and belonging needs, entertainment, esteem needs, self-actualization.
Food can become a substitute for fulfillment in these areas of our lives, as it’s always at hand. How to deal with it?
Mindfulness method can be helpful. It helps to stay careful in every moment of life. It will help you to notice what is happening with you and also with the outside world. It will help you to be “here and now”. Awareness of being embedded in the reality helps in decision making and deriving happiness from every moment. After all in dieting you have to be careful straight from the moment of shopping! Choose only that food which serves your purpose. You will achieve that through slowing down and paying attention to shape, color, smell and touch. Yes – already in a shop or local market - start acting consciously!
Next step is about conscious preparation of the meal, seeing actions step by step, seeing things like you’ve never seen them before. Useful exercise? Think about yourself as ... an alien who has landed on Earth for the first time and prepares meals from mundane products for the first time. Look with curiosity how it is to cut them. Are they tough or soft? How do they look inside? How do they smell? Once prepared meal is on the table look closely what is it composed of, what colors does it have, how is it placed on the plate. Take the first bite, feel the food touching your mouth. Do not hurry up! Answer yourself: is it soft or hard? What texture is that? Record its taste. Breath calmly, swallow. Being conscious during eating gives satisfaction, fulfillment, peacefulness and space for pleasure. Consciousness will help you stop eating just for slaking the “hunger” in emotional areas of life and bring back the pleasure of eating itself. Isn't it all about that?