The holidays are right around the corner. Or not, if you happen to be reading this in February. However, it is not too early or late to consider eating intuitively. Here are 10 Tips to Eating Intuitively Through the Holidays or Any Day!!
Decide right now that you are not going to take part in conversations that support diet culture. When we get together with friends and family over the holidays it’s inevitable that someone will bring up how the food is going to affect their body shape or size, someone will tell you all about their diet plan or exercise routine, and/or someone will tell you their big, diet-culture inspired New Years Resolutions. You do not have to engage in this conversation. You don’t have to explain your food and body beliefs if you don’t feel up to it. You can aim at changing the subject or you can simply excuse yourself.
Remember that when you say yes to something you are saying no to something else. When deciding what to include in your schedule remembering what your core values and goals are. It is also okay to say no to food! You don’t have to eat something that isn’t appetizing to you just because it is being offered to you. And you don’t have to explain yourself. “No, thank you” is a complete sentence.
This is a Hawaiin practice of forgiveness. Repeat these 4 sentences often. I love you. I am sorry. Please forgive me. And Thank You. Repeat this practice over the food you eat. It does wonders even if you don't understand Ho'oponopono. Here's a link to a blog post on Ho'oponopono.
If we eat when we are stressed or upset our attention is not on the experience of eating and our brains don’t tend to register that we eat. It is hard to find satisfaction with a meal when we eat under these conditions. Find a place to sit down and eat that is comfortable and with good company.
Take a few deep breaths before you eat. Let go of any negative experiences from the day. Practice Ho'oponopono. Take note of the present moment, of the food on your plate and enjoy the food with gratitude.
We tend to eat with our eyes first. Actually taking a plate and assembling our meal is a part of eating that leads to satisfaction. When we graze over the buffet table we often are not aware of how much we have eaten. Just like sitting down and being in the moment, Using a plate helps our brains register that we have eaten.
Slow down and enjoy this experience with your friends and family. Set your fork down a few times and check-in with how your body is feeling. Talk with your loved ones about the food. Don’t rush through the meal, enjoy it, take pleasure from it.
As you take bites of the different foods, be aware of the tastes, textures, and temperatures. Observe what you like and dislike about the food.
Remain aware of how you are feeling as you eat. As you practice these steps in intuitive eating you will become aware of when you are full. At that time push the plate away, or like I state in #10 wrap it up for later.
If you don’t like something as much as you thought you would you are not obligated to eat it. If your eyes were hungrier than your stomach and you decide you’re full and satisfied while there is still food on your plate you are allowed to stop eating. If you’re worried about food waste throw some plastic wrap over your plate and throw it in the fridge for later. And remember that the money was already spent on the food and it was already prepared. If no one gets to the leftovers and the food ends up being thrown out, so be it. There is no point in making yourself uncomfortably full.
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