Do you think being satisfied after eating plays a role in controlling your hunger? How often do you overlook the pleasure of eating? Have you ever made the connection between being satisfied after eating and food cravings? How can you take steps to ensure you will be satisfied after a meal?
For some every experience is enjoyable, but for many we encounter food situations that can stress us or leave us over-analyzing things too much. Every eating experience should be satisfying and enjoyable. Why? Delighting in your dining can help you naturally achieve a balance for your body’s personal needs and bring a more positive relationship to the foods you eat.
Some signs you are not yet in tune with your satisfaction factor can be found in situations like the following:
- -You eat something because you “should” only to end the meal unsatisfied and eat what you really wanted on top of what you already ate.
- -Meal times are battlegrounds where you tell yourself you “can’t” have something. You deny any cravings (or even the chance to take a closer look at what you are craving to find another satisfying substitute) because you must eat what was planned or “safe”.
- -You may list excuses for why you don’t “deserve” to eat a certain food. It may be in the form of not working out enough that day, it not being a special occasion/the weekend, or you already had one treat this week.
I certainly noticed some of those qualities in myself in past years. I have been there and sometimes I have to remind myself not to go back to the “diet rules” but rather trust my natural instincts and allow myself the pleasure of a meal.
We can’t ignore the pleasure a delicious meal (healthy meals included) can bring. After all, who wants to go through life unhappy with strict rigid meals? That would drain the energy and joy right out of me. And it did for years, not to mention you can’t maintain it for very long. Eventually, your deprived eating pattern will no longer work when you start to rebel. Sound familiar?
Now that we have discussed ways to recognize faltering satisfaction in meals and the importance of turning it around, let’s look at three ways we can become more satisfied and revel in our eating.
Don’t have a veggie + chicken wrap for lunch just because it’s your lunch that you eat every day. If you come to a day where you are craving something different, that’s okay. Wouldn’t you rather eat something you will enjoy rather than force the chicken + veggies and end up raiding your cabinets for the fix you were craving earlier? Then you end up eating twice as much.
-Focus on the food.
When eating, don’t worry yourself with thoughts similar to “I’ll need to run longer tomorrow to make up for this” or “I’ll need to have a big hunk of chicken for dinner since there isn’t much protein in this meal”. Pay attention to the tastes, textures, and aromas of the food you are experiencing. Savor each bite.
While taking the time to savor each bite, consider how much you are enjoying the food. Does it taste as good as you expected? Is it as delicious as the first bite? If something isn’t bringing you the same satisfaction as you anticipated, don’t force it. Opt for another item on your plate you really want or pick something else to eat if possible, before you eat all of something you are not enjoying.
Discovering your satisfaction factor basically all boils down to one concept. If you don’t love it, don’t eat it…. if you love it, savor it, eat with joy. Choose foods you love, take pleasure in the moment, end satisfied.
I hope this series on Intuitive Eating has brought you a little bit closer to solving some of the missing pieces to completing your Weight Management puzzle.
All of us at one time has come to the conclusion that we needed more help with controlling what we eat. The decision to have Lap Band Surgery was part of that decision. But what we may have not considered is why it has been so hard to control. The surgery Helps us with controlling the amount of food we eat, but what we need to consider is if the amount of food we eat was are only issue in controlling our weight. If it was then reaching goal would be easy. But if you find that you still struggle with coming to understand why it is hard for you then you need to dive in a bit deeper to understand what sets you off.
Mindful Eating and Intuitive Eating are two very important pieces that are often missing from a lot of weight loss programs. Its not enough to just be shown the right foods to eat or how much. We all have followed programs like that Many, many times, and still manage to break free and have problems.
Once the connection is made that the weight issues experienced are more then about how much is eaten (That is just a symptom of the real problem) But rather the relationship with food, then the healing and a new understanding can begin.
I hope you all have found this series helpful in discovering something new about yourself and leads to a new healthier relationship with food.