There are basic “rules” that undoubtedly feed successful mindful eating habits, especially if you’re trying to maintain or lose a bit.
Without a doubt, I’m terrible at all of them – but it’s a work in progress!
I grew up with certain habits, and breaking them is tough. I also have to take into account my personal values/mindset (like refusing to “not complete” something). So, what simple rules do I struggle with?
- Eat when you’re hungry. I can’t tell you how much I do not do this. I eat when it’s “time” to eat, whether or not I’m hungry. This is sometimes fine, but mostly just makes me less enthused about my choice to eat when I wasn’t hungry. I’m a very time-concerned person (and let me tell you, I test in the 99th percentile of ‘conscientiousness’ on a personality scale), which means that I struggle not having things on a schedule.
- Share. I never think about sharing things. Maybe it’s because I’m an only child from a family of three? I don’t think of asking to share things at restaurants, but this is something I’m definitely getting better at!
- Stop when you’re full. I am convinced that I have this mechanism of ‘not full’ and ‘holy crap, sick.’ There’s no pleasant, ‘satisfied’ feeling located in my system. Of course, this could be a mindset, or the fact that I eat rather quickly, or that (again) I tend to eat by “assuming” how much I need rather than listening to how much I need. All potential problems. Working on this one.
- Saying no. This is probably what I struggle with the most. I love spending time with people, and usually that revolves around food. I rarely say no to anything and conform to whatever the other person eats/is ordering. This often leads to high caloric coffees from Starbucks, a nice muffin from the local bakery, etc. You see the spiral. I am getting better at this one, but it’s a work in progress!
- Not constantly thinking about food. Literally, I think about food all the time. Not when I’m hungry – all. the. time. It’s not so bad when I’m busy doing things, but often enough, I’m not that busy. I need to find another outlet.
- Cravings. This kind of falls under the ‘eat when you’re hungry’ thing, but if I see something on TV or on a food blog that I’m trolling, I instantly want to make it and eat it. Right then. That second. It couldn’t possibly wait until tomorrow. I’m definitely getting better at this one, but some days are better than others.
Whew, quite a list. But, at least I’m working on most of them!
I have to remind myself: love the process.
They seem so simple, right? What do you guys struggle with?