Practise mindful eating
It’s very common to go through life completely unaware of what you are putting in your body. This doesn’t mean that you can’t see that donut that is climbing into your mouth. It’s more that we are very good at deceiving ourselves.
You might have certain ideas about what you eat, how often you indulge in treats, or how many portions of vegetables you generally manage. These guesses can sometimes be a little off. Sadly, sometimes they can be really far off your actual habits.
A food journal can help you get a more accurate picture of what you eat and drink. With practice, you can overcome unhealthy habits and take control of your eating.
There are several stages on the road to mindful eating:
- Not being remotely aware of what you eat. If I asked you how many desserts you’ve had this week, you would struggle to give me an accurate answer.
- Realising what you’ve eaten afterwards. Maybe it hits you at the end of the day that you went back for seconds, thirds and fourths of that office birthday cake. (Easily done, especially if it’s chocolate!)
- Realising what you’re eating in the middle of the act. You might notice you feel full as you reach for your 6th slice of pizza, but not stop yourself.
- Being aware of food before eating it. There is enough space between seeing a free sample of lemon meringue pie at the supermarket and actually accepting it. You have time to decide whether you really want to eat it.
Ideally, at the final stage, food guilt will be a thing of the past. Going forwards, you can consciously decide when to enjoy a sweet treat, and really enjoy it, and when to decline. You are in control.