That is right. One word can sum it all up.
As I introduce solids to my baby boy, and essentially teach him how to eat, it occurs to me that many people have totally forgotten the essentials. Like eating, we learn how to walk at a very young age and yet, if we walk funny consistently, we are sure to do considerable damage to the spine. Similarly, deviating from the basic rules of eating correctly may result in lifestyle diseases like obesity and related ailments.
I’m on a journey of losing about 15 Kgs, and have re-discovered (along with picking up some new knowledge)- the theory of eating right. It’s only fair to share it with the world! Why not, right ? Instagram for pictures, Twitter for half-formed thoughts, LinkedIn for whatever we would have shared on Facebook few years back, and Medium for theories and stories.
So, here goes-
Eat when hungry
This may sound as basic as it gets, but a lot of us don’t do that any more. We eat because it’s ‘time’ to eat, because we’re with friends, because what’s a movie without popcorn and for many myriad reasons. We also eat because we crave. Crave is not Hunger. You may be full, but you could still crave for that baklava or chocolate ice-cream. If you don’t remember getting properly hungry(not craving) for your last meal- maybe you’re not doing it right.
Eating mindfully is an art and an exercise in patience. Especially if you are following point 1(above). Sometimes I feel SO hungry that I imagine my stomach ingesting itself, or that if it would have had hands, it would have reached up to my throat and grabbed the bite that I was wasting time chewing. So, it is understandably difficult to taste the food consciously, chew it properly and only then swallow it- bite after bite, when all you want to do it gobble it all up in biggest of all bites.
Think of the cooking show episodes where the judges take a bite and analyze the food and swallow it frustratingly slowly. Pretentious as it may make you look- THAT is the real way to eat mindfully. It will help you not only connect with food with all your senses (sight, hearing, sense, taste and smell), but also with the act of eating it.
Stop when full
Full stomach is when it is 80% full. It’s when you could eat more, but are essentially done. There is a stomach and there’s the mind. Many people eat until their mind is satisfied, and by then their stomach is dying. Remember, to satisfy your mind, you just have to eat mindfully, enjoying each bite. For people who can’t bear to waste food (like me) and HAVE to clean the plate, need to learn to start with smaller servings. For people with big foodie families/friends, learn to say no. Remember that food is deeply personal, and that you are entitled to save the rights to making decisions about that.
Need I say more ?
Eating right is instinctive and super easy!
Hungry ? Eat properly. Hungry no-more? Stop.
And yet with iffy habits and social obligations we have made 'eating' quite complicated.
Here are few additional pointers that may help you roll better
- Keep away the phone.(while eating)
- Eat Alone for first few days to help focus on food until it’s a habit.
- Serve smaller servings/portions
- Enjoy the food. Even the smaller portions… like gourmet :D
- Stay well-hydrated. Drink lots of water, sugarless-fluids(coconut water, tea, coffee etc).
I will tell more about my 15Kg weight loss journey in a new post soon ! Until then keep me posted about your food experiences!