How do you approach food with hunger, emotion, or your senses

It’s a simple question that perhaps you’ve never asked yourself but has likely affected your attitude and behaviour towards food and your health.

If you have been a constant dieter or watch the trends around what not to eat, it’s a rollercoaster of information that the multi billion dollar diet and food industry have brainwashed consumers into believing that counting calories, dieting and eating prepared/processed foods are the only way to lose weight or feel healthy.

Mastering Slow Eating Truly Calmly Deeply

There’s growing scientific evidence that restrictive dieting makes you want to eat more, slows your metabolism and makes it even harder to lose weight.

If you’re not dieting and grabbing a quick snack, burger, cookie, muffin, or chocolate bar, may satisfy your craving which you’ve been told will hold you over to when a real meal can be eaten. It will likely result in overeating from the vicious cycle of the drop from the blood sugar rush craving an hour before.

It’s a natural instinct to eat more when you’ve been deprived of food for whatever reason. The brain thinks its starving and goes into survival mode. It will start reducing the number of calories it burns to stay alive. Your metabolism may drop to 40% from the 2000 calories you were eating a day to 1200 calories (the diet) to maintain a lower weight. The brain interprets it as getting ready for famine by lowering its metabolism.

That’s an incredible thing the body knows what to do?

Unfortunately, the rollercoaster of dieting screws up your hormones, nutrition, and state of health effecting the metabolic rate. Thyroid activity effects metabolic rate on a wide scale. Some of us are fast metabolizers, most are slow metabolizers. The slower the rate the less calories are burned, and you can easily gain weight. Deficiencies in essential fatty acids, B vitamins and minerals including potassium, iron, magnesium and calcium increases oxidation and the rate of burning calories raises your metabolic rate. Not a simple answer, right?

The key to managing your weight and practicing a healthy lifestyle is embodying an awareness about how you approach food.

How often have you spent preparing a wonderful meal, sat down to eat it and before you knew it, you’ve eaten the whole thing without even thinking about it. Did you experience the flavours, texture, aromas or feel satisfied, not full?

We all approach food in different ways, mostly from hunger, yet with the abundance of food choices, we either overeat for emotional reasons to soothe painful experiences or not think about it at all for a million reasons.

Mindful eating is an embodied practice of observing your actions, thoughts, feelings, and motivations to cultivate health, self-awareness and contentment. It promotes long-term health and enjoyment.

A definition of Mindful Eating:

  • Allowing yourself to become aware of the positive and nurturing opportunities available through food selection and preparation by respecting your own inner wisdom.
  • Using all your senses to choose what foods to eat that are satisfying to you and nourishing for your body.
  • Acknowledging responses to food (likes, dislikes, or neutral) without judgment.
  • Becoming aware of physical hunger and fullness cues to guide your decisions to begin and end eating.  (Centre for Mindful Eating)

Apply the BASICS method of Mindful Eating:

Belly check before you eat and during the meal if you are you really hungry?

Assess your food, apply your senses by noticing the types of foods, the variety of colours, the food’s aroma, its textures. Ask yourself is this the kind of food “I want to eat now?”

Slow down, noticing when the body has had enough to eat before feeling full. Put down your utensils between bites.

Investigate your hunger throughout your meal

Chew your food thoroughly before taking the next bite

Savour your food to the max with delight! (The Mindfulness-Based Eating Solution by Lynn Rossy)

Approach your meal and food with calm using a breath, a meditation or saying grace:

“We thank the sun, wind. earth and rain for this beautiful food, all the creatures and humans who made it possible and brought it to us. Nourish us with less suffering and for bringing us joy.”

Your cells care about the best nutrients it received that will give you energy!  The basic nutrients of food that your body needs to thrive such as protein, fats, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins can be in any form, but you have choice for that food to be whole, quality-sourced, nourishing and prepared as you desire such as roasted, shredded, salted, sweet or layered, smelling and tasting delicious.

Being present, aware and thankful about the food you eat is the beginning of an embodied practice. Ditch the diet and enjoy eating mindfully!

Be well, 

Rani Glick is a certified holistic nutiritionist, mindful eating and mindfulness facilitator. Interested in knowing more about nutrition, mindfulness or mindful eating,  book a call with me!

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