Food is powerful, but often we give it more power than it deserves. Downing a donut midday in front of our computers or standing in the middle of the kitchen indulging in late-night ice cream straight out of the carton, we think we are being so bad! We think we’re taking too much pleasure in our food. But when we’re always eating with distractions and not connecting with our food, it’s hardly a genuine expression of pleasure. We think the donut and the ice cream are the problems, but really it’s how we’re eating it that has the biggest impact.
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You probably think that in order to end the craziness with food you have to be really disciplined with food. And many experts will tell you the same thing: you need to be vigilant at avoiding your “trigger foods.” You must be “strong” when your cravings feel like monsters inside you and defeat them at all costs. But you have to do it differently this time: So, go ahead and eat the damn donut already!
Food is meant to be enjoyed. We love food, right? But would you rush through or multi-task with something else you love? If you love sex, would you read a book at the same time? Or if you love yoga, would you talk on your cell phone through the whole class? Of course not! But that’s how we treat food.
So how do we begin to enjoy food in way that doesn’t harm us? The secret is to eat without distractions. Begin to put your attention on the act of eating, without creating distractions for yourself. You’ll find that you naturally eat less and feel more satisfied because you are really enjoying it!
Here are the steps to take the next time you are ready to take a bite, no matter what it is:
Stop for a moment and say to yourself, “I am going to eat this and I’m going to enjoy it!”
Find yourself a place with no distractions – no driving, reading, watching television or checking emails.
Close your eyes and take a deep breath, smile and take a bite.
Chew, breathe and savor. Really savor it the way you would savor something else you really enjoyed.
When you start doing this, amazing changes will begin happening. First, you’ll notice your portions will naturally get smaller, without trying. Then, your cravings and digestion will begin to shift. And soon, you’ll feel calm with food, pleasure with life and pleasure with food.