Each day we can be forced to navigate up to 200 food and eating decisions. That is a lot of thought, time and effort – we burn far too many “brain calories” on this minefield. Now is is about striping it back to you and your pure and simple intuition and wisdoms.
We become influenced by a whole psychology around eating and food – cultural normal, family vales, economic and political issues, social conditioning – the list of all these subconscious influences are huge and today that is what we are going to tackle.
When you are hungry – EAT !!
In fact more importantly – when you are beginning to feel hungry – prepare to eat !!
So take a breath – tune in to those hunger and fullness levels and learn to recognise the signs your body is sending to you … learn to recognise what a real hunger experience feels like ….
Learn to know and understand what that physical sensation feels like to you and then be able to cut through the confusion and the noise in your brain and recognise what is real hunger and what is an other hunger
- Create space – how – take a breath – that breath is your pause , a moment in time that you deserve to make the right – considered and conscious – choice for you
- Listen and feel what your body is telling you
- Visualisation technique – closed fist and check in on hunger and fullness levels.
- Mini Mediation – on a scale of 1-10 how hungry am I right now ?
This will allow you to be able to
- Tell the difference between physical hunger and other hungers
- Know and be able to identity and recognise what other hungers are
- Then respond – not react – in the moment when we get that urge to eat it feels impulse, urgent, rash and not all together calculated or considered and in a lot of cases not kind t ourselves in the long term
- Respond – take a breath, pause. Name check what hunger it is and then go to your self care toolbox to figure out what you can give yourself that you need
- Be kind and compassionate to yourself when your recognise what they are and explore them with a gentle curiosity
- Trust your instincts – trust your body, your mind and your soul.
- Treat yourself, soothe yourself, excite yourself, challenge yourself with self care and self nourishment
- How do you self care – sleep, hydrate, social connections, mental stimulation, connections with nature, body mind connection. Then go deep in to this …. nature, pets, yoga, music
Nose hunger – be aware of this trigger – check in on hunger level – know its not physical hunger and walk away. Bring awareness and check-in as see if it is triggering actual physical hunger and in this case begin to prepare for eating. Savour an enjoy the aromas.
Mouth Hunger – eating – eat foods that stimulate your sense and your preferences – try to figure out do you love cold foods, warm foods, room temperature. Do you prefer crunchy foods or creamy soft smooth foods and then be discerning when you do eat and only choose the foods you love.
Emotional Hunger – RAIN – recognize, accept, investigate, non identity
- RAIN is an acronym for Recognise, Accept, Investigate and Non – Identify
- Recognise. – Take a step back and recognise the emotion. First just name the emotion. If you are comfortable actually saying it out loud all the better. Then remember to just treat it with a non judgmental curiosity. Not good or bad …. just exploring … with the realization …ooohh so that’s what I am feeling….Sometimes this step alone can be enough to soothe and ease and allow you to move on. If not…
- Accept, Acknowledge, Allow.… sit with the feeling for 90 seconds if possible knowing you are safe. Be present in this moment as this is the reality. Do not push the emotion down into the subconscious or try to run away from it. Pull the emotion front and centre, sit in the discomfort. Yes this is how I am feeling now, this is part of my story and my reality. It may be unpleasant but remember to be kind to yourself. no unnecessary self criticism.
- Investigate : now go a little deeper with that non judgemental curiosity. Begin to ask yourself a few questions…. How did this start ? Where has it come from? Has it happened before ? Is this emotion and feeling bigger or smaller than before ? These questions are not for deep analysis but think of them as a friendly open ended conversation you would have with a good friend.This should help understand the thoughts and actions a little better that are stemming from the emotion.
- Non – identity – When the negative emotion hits – you can feel like this is it… this is the all and everything ….in the moment this is all you are ….this is NOT the case. You now need to non-identity. This is where you say…..I am a whole person…… this emotion is a tiny fleeting part of who I am right now ….. and that is ok….. and this will pass. it will. not last forever. See the thoughts scrolling through your mind, recognising they are being triggered by external forces and now detach yourself from them. Let them go… the moment is passing. You are not that emotion…..
Boredom – have list ( mental or physical of jobs you have you have to do.. this can be a mix of boring housework, fun and exciting things, life jobs and instead of eating taking a 10 minute break, distract yourself from what caused the boredom and do a job from the list. Not only will be prove as a distraction it will also serve to improve your mindset by being able to tick a job off the list so you are getting satisfaction from another entity that is not food. This will also help to soothe anxiety and reduce stress levels and reduce the brains desire for distraction. And PS don’t worry you don’t have to worry about finishing the to do list. Never ending, rolling over to do lists are fine.