3 Questions You Should Answer Before Eating Anything
Mindfulness seems to be taking over the health and wellness world. From pain relief to making you a kinder person, people are applying mindfulness techniques and mediation to a broad range of daily activities to improve their overall wellbeing.
If you’re wondering about what is mindfulness, you already do it. If there’s anything you already do that totally engrosses you, so you think of nothing else, that’s a form of mindfulness.
One of the key causes of overeating, and/or eating the wrong foods, like wolfing down a ‘Family-Pak’ of Doritos while you watch ‘Orange is the New Black’, is mindless eating.
So it makes sense that using mindful eating can help eliminate the mindless (not thinking at all about what you’re doing) eating that might be contributing to your weight gain, or be one of the ‘mysterious’ reasons why you can never lose weight even though you follow a diet to the word.
But how do you practice ‘mindful eating’? Below are three questions you should ask yourself before you eat anything, no matter how small. This will seem awkward at first, but stick with it. If you let it happen; if you want it to happen, asking these questions every time you eat could be the first steps you take down the road to heathy eating and sustained weight loss.
1. What Am I Eating?
Unless it’s a whole food, like a fruit, vegetable or an egg, you can’t just answer ‘yogurt’. If it isn’t a whole food, you’ll need to know the ingredients. If you’re eating yogurt, you’re really eating three to five teaspoons of added sugar, about 10% of your daily recommended salt intake, and 10 grams of protein – so there’s some good and some bad in the yogurt. That’s what you’re eating.
If you want to avoid the wrong answers to this question, avoid packaged foods, or at least packaged foods with more than 5 listed ingredients.
2. Why Am I Eating It?
This is one that can be as tough to answer as the question is short. You’re not eating food just because it tastes good. Or maybe you are and you’re looking for a fix of that taste, like something salty, or sweet. So cravings might be a reason for eating something.
But so can being lonely, or sad, or happy. Regardless of the reasons, it’s important to become mindful of why you’re eating so you can begin to see the triggers, other than hunger and cravings (which is like a hunger), for all your eating.
By keeping a daily journal of everything you eat and how you were feeling before you ate it, you’ll quickly spot some trends, and some of them might be part of the reason you overeat.
3. How Will This Food Make Me Feel After I Eat It?
Will it make you feel ‘fat’? Or will it give you energy? Again, the answer is not just about how the food makes you feel physically, but also how it makes you feel mentally and emotionally. And how it will make you feel about yourself.
Being mindful of how a food makes you feel is one of the best ways to spot those foods you sometimes crave, but that actually make you feel bad in one way or another. Next time the craving or temptation hits, you’ll be more mindful of the consequences and potentially eat less, or avoid the food altogether and eat a substitute that doesn’t bring on the same negative feelings.
This is another mindfulness question that, using a journal to record your answers, will help you spot the trends that are part of the problem.
You’re not going to be mindful all of a sudden. If you try and just can’t make it work, call or visit your local Herbal One Centre and speak to a nutritional consultant who can help you get back on track.