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Put The Enjoyment Back Into Eating
Did you know there is no need to go without the food you enjoy eating? You can satisfy that yearning for food and still become a healthy weight without dieting. People break diets all the time because it's just too hard to go without the foods they enjoy long term. Dieting is one of the hardest things to do.
A diet is a list of foods someone else tells you to eat, not only do they tell you what to eat, they tell you how much and how often. And you have to follow it strictly to achieve the outcome they promise you. Diets give you a temporary change. I don't need to tell you that the results from diets just don't last. A diet is a system that is designed to fail.
When you go without food for a period of time your body goes into self-protection mode and stores fat for use later on. When you're dieting you teach your body to do this and the end result is that at some point you end up weighing more than you did when you started.
Going without for a long period of time leads to eating more than you and your body wanted to eat in the first place. When you diet you ignore what you want to eat. You go without what you enjoy eating and you go without what your body feels like eating. Instead you eat foods you don't enjoy (or you get bored with because of the limited choice) and you eat them under sufferance.
When this gets too hard, you might have one or two things not on the diet. It might be a piece of chocolate, a biscuit, some fries or something else your body is craving. Because you've gone without, you find you can't stop at just one piece or a small serve. Then before you know it, the whole block of chocolate, the whole packet of biscuits or all the fries are gone.
Have you noticed that when you binge like this it's not on lettuce or celery sticks? Instead you binge on your favorite foods, the ones you've missed out on while dieting. The result of binging is you end up feeling like you've failed and feel guilty for doing the wrong thing.
There is a better way. Listening to your body's needs is called mindful eating. Mindful eating teaches you how to eat the foods you love and enjoy without overindulging. To use mindful eating properly, it's really important to let go of the emotion you may have around eating. Most people feel they should eat the "right" foods and feel guilty when they don't. Practicing mindful eating means recognizing what you feel like eating rather than reaching for something out of habit or eating it just because it's there. It also means that you get back in sync with your body and learn to work with it instead of against it.
People who diet usually crave foods they are forced to go without often for weeks at a time. When you practice mindful eating you can eat what you want when you want. It's about learning to listen to and trust your body's inbuilt desire for food. Doing this means that if you feel like chocolate you can eat chocolate because you want to and not feel guilty about it. When you eat what your body wants, you feel more satisfied and tend to eat less.
Follow these tips to put the enjoyment back into your eating:
1. When choosing food ask yourself "Am I eating what I feel like or what I think I should?" Eating what your body feels like means you eat less.
2. Stop eating when you notice your stomach starts to feels full. This stops you from over eating.
3. To stop yourself from eating everything on the plate, when you've had enough, place your serviette over the plate. Not seeing the food left on your plate can help break the childhood rule of "having to eat everything on your plate".
4. When you've finished eating, check in with yourself and ask, "Did I enjoy eating that?" This helps you to recognize the foods you enjoy and when you have eaten something out of habit.
5. If you find yourself eating when you are not hungry ask yourself - "What's coming up for me right now?" and/or "Why am I eating this?" Knowing what triggers non-hungry eating can help you to change your eating habits.