For the last several months I’ve been studying the concept of mindful eating. Recently, I was a guest blogger for a mindful eating website so I have created a series of articles on my experience with mindful eating tips for you.
Today’s mindful eating focus is on the importance of Stopping Yourself by using your mind and psychology to cool your cravings. Just like firefighters that take time to stop and assess the situation before taking action, we can take a minute to assess our level of hunger and food choices as well as monitor our physical level of eating satisfaction before inhaling everything in front of us.
Last Tuesday was a very busy day for me so I didn’t spend any time thinking about my cravings but I did notice – for the first time ever – that it’s natural for me to automatically pair things together without pausing to consider whether I am hungry or not. This was a new (exciting!) thought for me. I realized I have always paired my salad with crackers. Yesterday, I finished my salad and made a mindful gut-check – and realized I didn’t need those crackers. I was satisfied for the moment. I didn’t panic; I told myself they would be available later in the day if I got hungry. And I moved onto my next project. BAM! An Aha moment and learning experience indeed.
Then I began thinking about how many pairs I put together without stopping to consider my satiety (hunger/fullness) level. Eggs and toast, sandwich and chips, a burger and fries, Diet Coke and pretzels (a FAVORITE snack back in the day), two poptarts (they are packaged together so they must go together right?), soup and a big hunk of homemade crusty bread (Mmmmmm!), sandwich + crackers + applesauce + cheesestick + yogurt. Wow.
So I feel like a new woman with a new tool in my tool purse. Remembering to Stop! Think! Feel! As I eat and know when I’m satisfied. WOOT! WOOT!
Sara Wolfsen is a Certified Health Coach who specializes in helping people make their own healthy changes by providing private health coaching, nutrition education and wellness classes, and gentle weight-loss guidance and support. Schedule your complimentary coaching session and learn more online at www.sarawolfsen.com.