How often do you listen to your body? This might seem to be a rather strange question, but many of us are entirely wrapped up in the outside world to properly appreciate what may be occurring on the inside. The principle of listening to our bodies is similar to the practice of Mindfulness that was first espoused by psychologist Eckhart Tolle.
Of course, this very same type of body wisdom can be applied to our dietary habits if we are hoping to lose weight or simply to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Let us examine how to listen to your body when eating as well as a handful of other professional recommendations.
Body wisdom into the process of eating
Perhaps the main takeaway point here involves becoming more aware of your eating habits. Do you have a tendency to rush through your meals or do we make it a point to take your time? Let’s remember that many of us eat as a coping mechanism as opposed to simply satisfying a hungry sensation.
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.
Conscious eating is an interesting concept to appreciate. Although this partially involves paying attention to the food and the process of consumption, it can embrace other approaches. For example, what environments make you feel comfortable? Do you enjoy eating with others? Are you pressured into consuming more if a close friend or family member does? Becoming aware of any bad habits is necessary if you hope to correct them.
The first step is to make a conscious choice to eat. The choice is whether we eat on an automatic pilot or eat from a place of choice. How often do 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.
What To Eat: Food and Quantity
Once you’ve decided to eat, learn to listen to your body about what it needs to eat. Make it a point to prefer quality over quantity. For instance, replace the calorie-laden temptation of fast food for healthier alternatives such as salads, fruits and vegetables. If you begin to listen to your body, you will soon come to realize that more is not necessarily better.
In fact, the chances are high that eating tasty and highly nutritious foods will cause you to become fuller at a quicker rate. This will enable you to maintain a healthy body weight while providing you with plenty of energy.
Tips for listening to your body
We now come to the next logical question. How can you begin to listen to your body? Self-awareness plays an important role in this respect. Get into the habit of eating at regular times throughout the day; preferably when no distractions are present. It is also wise to choose a calm and soothing location. Here are some additional tips:
- Do not rush when eating.
- Pay attention to how specific foods make you feel (both physically and emotionally).
- Be patient, as these habits will take some time to develop.
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.
The negative effects of eating without hunger
Nearly everyone has eaten when they did not require the nutrients or calories. As mentioned previously, this can occur as a coping mechanism (such as if we are dealing with a significant amount of stress). Unfortunately, this type of mindset can cause even more negative problems to develop. Here are some scenarios which can result from eating when already full:
- Sudden and unhealthy changes in blood sugar levels.
- Hypertension and high cholesterol
- Heightened levels of cortisol (a hormone related to feelings of stress and anxiety).
We can now see why listening to your body is crucial. Not only will you find the meals themselves more enjoying, but you could very well be able to stave off potentially serious long-term health effects.
Bodyeating and Spatz gastric balloon
There are several reasons why the Spatz3 adjustable gastric balloon can work wonders in terms of weight loss and adopting a healthier lifestyle. Not only can this device be used for up to a year, but the fact that its size can be modified signals that it is capable of adapting to your unique preferences. This is why it is even more important to adopt a mindful approach when you eat.
Paying attention to the consumption process will enable you to develop a better appreciation for the food itself. In fact, you might even begin to taste certain flavours to a greater extent. Your feelings of satiety will increase and as a result, eating will soon become an enjoyable and rewarding portion of your day.
If you begin to listen to your body, you will be amazed at what can be accomplished. Feel free to bookmark this article for future inspiration and take a bit of time to become immersed within your next meal!