Are You Hungry?
When the physical body needs food for energy, it creates the sensation of hunger. Beyond your stomach needing food or your brain needing food, it is the very cells of your body that are begging for sustenance. Doing a mindful check about what your body needs can help you prevent overeating. Additionally, you’ll be able to notice when you’re hungry throughout the day so you don’t experience drops in energy and focus.
Are You Experiencing Difficult Emotions?
Eating is often a coping mechanism for difficult emotions. Food can fill a hole or stuff emotions down. Food can help to feel pleasure or to feel pain. Check in with your feelings. Are you stressed? Depressed? Anxious? Angry? Before reaching for food, try taking a moment to meditate or breathe and recenter.
Play With Your Food
Experiential learning is one of the best ways to create long lasting memory and behavioral changes. When we get hands on in life, we get a better sense of what actually is as opposed to what we think about something. Do we ever take time to really notice food? Before ravenously consuming your food take a moment to really pay attention to it: texture, scent, leaves, colors, how it looks up close. The majority of “taste” is actually “smell”. Really inhale the scent of your food and notice the different layers.
Sometimes we’re just in a crunch for time when it comes to food. Even on a thirty minute lunch break in between working hours, there is time to pause and mindfully approach your food. Chew slowly and become aware of what the food is like on your tongue. Do you experience flavor in one area of your tongue more than others? Is it cool and slick or warm and tough? Chewing thoroughly is also a practice used to prevent overeating. You break down the food faster helping your body digest the filling nutrients more quickly.
Are You Still Hungry?
We are trained to need to finish our plates and eat until we feel stuffed. In truth, we don’t have to eat until we are busting at the seams, but until we simply feel content. A mindful practice to follow is waiting at least ten minutes to continue eating. Your body needs a chance to digest. If after some time you are still hungry, continue eating.
Avalon By The Sea incorporates nutrition, cooking, and food planning into each recovery program we offer. Nutrition and diet are vital components for longevity and a healthy life of recovery. For more information on our treatment programs, call 1-888-958-7511.