Upgrade Your Eating Experience

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 ​As humans, we love labels, it allows our brains to give deeper meaning to things. Some labels have emotion attached to them. Some examples are money, time, and food. The labels put on food can get emotional.
 
What emotions come up when you think of the label “meal,” what about snack?
 
Those are two different things, right?
 
Yes, by definition those two labels, meal and snack, are used to define different things.
 
When I think of a snack, I think of a small amount of food that is quick, easy and informally consumed. On the other hand, a meal is a more formal affair where food is consumed at a table with utensils, and maybe a napkin, or two, if we want to get really fancy.
 
I have found that my client’s least intuitive eating happens when they have a snack. Most of the time they don’t sit down at the table, as one is more likely to do with a meal, and sometimes they don’t even grab a plate! Believe me I have been there, I would just reach into the fridge and take whatever looked good and eat it right out of the container.
 
This is exactly the opposite of what I what you to do. To start listening to your body’s hunger and fullness signals, you have to have a method to your food consumption.
 
This method is what I like to call an eating experience.
 
An eating experience is when one sits down at a table with their full attention on the food they are consuming (no phones, no newspapers, no music). My goal for all of my clients is to have more eating experiences than not during their day. This includes both meals or snacks.
 
By labeling consumption of food an “eating experience” we are changing your beliefs about meals and snacks.
 
An eating experience gives eating, no matter what time or type it is, importance.
 
I know that it might be unreasonable for me to ask you to sit down and give your full attention to your food each time you eat. So let’s take baby steps, shall we?
 
For our first step all I ask is that you sit down and have an eating experience once a day. Ask yourself when do you have the most time during the day? Is it breakfast? Afternoon snack? By doing this you are giving yourself the curtesy and self-compassion to truly enjoy and experience your food. See how it feels for a week.
 
I find that referring to each and every time I eat as an eating experience it gives this activity meaning, where I am able to give myself and the experience respect by sitting down and giving my full attention to the process. By calling it an eating experience we do not bring along our extra baggage about meals or snacks or binges. We are experiencing the activity of eating.
 
OK so are you ready to try an eating experience?
 
Here are the steps for you to have a full-blown eating experience:

  1. When you feel yourself getting hungry, prepare or pull your food together (to start to explore your hunger, try out my hunger meter).
  2. Put the food on a plate or in a bowl (make sure it is pretty, something pleasing to the eye).
  3. Bring silverware, and your food to a table.
  4. Make sure there are no distractions, no phone, no music, no TV.
  5. Sit down and look at your food, take in the colors and notice how hungry you are (again here is the hunger meter).
  6. Start to eat, the first bite is always the best so be sure to savor that bite, take it in with all your senses.
  7. Continue this process until you are a quarter of the way through. Stop and see how you feel. How hungry are you from -10 to 10? (10 being stuffed, -10 being starving, 0 being not hungry or full). If you are still less than 2, continue to eat (the magic number is 2, we are aiming to get there and not passed it).
  8. Half way through, set down your fork, spoon, what have you. See where you are now. What number would you assign your hunger?
  9. Once you get to 2 on the hunger meter STOP.
  10. Put the food away.

 
Try this out. See how it goes. Let me know in the comments!
 
if you need more support sign up for my mini session and we will help you get some amazing full-blown eating experiences under your belt.
 
Much Love,
 
Megan P^2




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