Emily Rosen, Director of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, has some excellent advice about integrating body wisdom into the process of eating. You can learn more by watching her video on the subject. Here is a summary of her ideas.
The first step is to make a conscious choice to eat. The choice is whether we eat on automatic pilot or eat from a place of choice. How often to you stop to ask yourself, “Am I hungry?” “Is food what I need right now?” So when you make a conscious decision to eat, you can take responsibility for your food intake and not be a victim of food’s power over you.
Once you’ve decided to eat, learn to listen to your body about what it needs to eat. Trust your body’s intuitive wisdom. In order to learn to listen more closely to your body, it may help to sit down, close your eyes, and imagine your body telling you what it needs to eat at this moment for maximum nourishment. This is your opportunity to tune in to your own body.
Be present when you’re eating. Taste and appreciate all the sensations that go along with eating, whether that’s the temperature and texture of your dish, its saltiness, sweetness or bitterness or even the shape of your bowl or fork. Notice the sounds around you, the firmness of your seat, the tone of voice of your eating companions. Be present! Don’t drift off when you’re eating. Don’t eat mindlessly. The more present you are when you’re eating, the more fulfilling your meal will be and the less you’ll feel driven to eat again, in an unconscious attempt to capture what you missed
After you’ve eaten, take some long, deep breaths and reflect on the experience you just had. Were you present? Are you satisfied? What would you do differently next time? Let yourself appreciate the feeling of having fulfilled your body’s need for food in a present and nurturing way. Even if you find you ate too fast, or you overate, let the experience teach you to refine your approach to meals for next time.
Finally, when you’ve finished your meal, let it go. Move into the next phase of your day and try not to dwell on thoughts of food, nutrition, calories, meals or anything related until it’s time for your next meal.
Author: Rebeca Espinoza