As you may have seen from my previous posts I am very passionate an approach to weight and health that focuses on trusting your body cues and being mindful about eating and exercise.
For the last few months I have been focusing whole heartedly on listening to my hunger cues. From this experience I now think less about food, I eat when I am hungry, stop when I am content (not full to the point that I need to undo my jeans) and eat foods that I enjoy.
This is in direct contrast to the way I have felt in the past when I have restricted my calorie intake, planned every food I was going to eat and made sure that I ate every few hours. This type of strict eating regime drove me crazy and I was obsessed, it also drove me to overeat and judge myself negatively over and over again.
The main thing I have learnt from this exercise is that I now trust my body. I know that if I need energy my body will tell me I am hungry and if I don’t it won’t.
I am now aware that I don’t always need to eat to the clock, for example if I have spent a day at home blogging and fixing things on the computer I won’t be as hungry or eat as much food. Compared to a day when I am out and about doing marketing activities and seeing clients (where I tend to eat a lot more).
I am aware that we can’t put an exact calorie amount on every day, as they are so varied.
So now that I am feeling more content with my body signals and I am noticing patterns in my eating, it’s time to take on a new experiment.
Mindful eating focuses on non-judgmental hunger and awareness of all aspects of eating (sight, sound, taste, texture, smell etc). It focuses on either neutral, positive or negative responses to food e.g. “this apple is sour” or “this slice is tasteless” instead of emotional judgements like “this chocolate is so bad for me”.
It is more about being grateful for the food you have and enjoying it instead of inhaling it in front of the television or in an emotional rage.
So my homework for the week is to eat at least one meal each day mindfully. This means away from distraction, choosing tasty foods that interest me and taking in each sense while I am eating (is the chocolate crunchy is it smooth, is it sweet or bitter etc).
As the hunger cues exercise has worked so well for me, I am optimistic about the next step in trusting my body.