How about increasing your enjoyment and your awareness at the same time? Sounds good right? Are you up for trying a fun and simple experiment? Can’t remember what you just ate? Experiment with putting your fork, spoon, shovel or food down between bites.

This tiny action slows down and draws your attention to what you’re eating. It also gives you a minute to check in with yourself, become more “aware” of how your food actually tastes, it’s texture, and how full or hungry you still are. I know what I’m suggesting might sound pretty radical, that’s because it is. Eating has become so automatic for most of us that soon after a meal or snack we don’t even know what or how much we’ve eaten. Like many things in life, eating is meant to be a pleasurable experience. Wouldn’t it be great to get more pleasure out of what we’re already doing?  Before you pick up the fork each time, you might ask yourself “am I still hungry or do I want more just because it tastes good?”

When we continue to eat solely for the pleasure that tasting food gives us and we are no longer hungry, we’re attempting to satisfy an emotional need with food. That’s called emotional eating. It’s much more beneficial and kind to ourselves if we can address our emotional needs with choices that bring us fun and enjoyment instead of eating food when we’re not hungry.

What kind of choices am I talking about?  The best ones are things you love to do. It could be something like reading a book, taking a walk, talking with a friend, engaging in a sport or hobby, getting a massage, watching a favorite movie that always makes you feel good, taking a drive to the coast, etc. The more time you spend doing things you love the less important food becomes. You don’t need to take my word for it, in fact, please don’t. Try it out for yourself.

With love, Jackie

P.S. Not having done this for a while, I experimented with it over a fabulous lunch the other day. It felt as though I had never really tasted this wonderful dish before, which I’ve had many times. I also realized that unlike previous occasions, I didn’t need to finish the whole thing. I never would have known.