Conscious eating – what is it exactly?
I don’t know about you but I’ve been in countless situations where I’ve had to undo the top button of my jeans just to breath after a hefty meal. Or how about not thinking twice when ordering the cookie, donut, or pastry at a coffee shop?
There are 3 steps to conscious eating:
- Being aware of what you’re eating
- Being mindful on how you eat
- Noticing how often you eat
Sounds ridiculously simple right? Eh, not so fast.
Many of us live our lives day and night in autopilot (i.e. our subconscious). We don’t have to think twice about how to consume food, it’s in our nature: when we’re hungry our stomach growls signaling to our brain that it’s time to eat. Before processed foods we ate plentiful, nutrient dense foods that kept us full and fueled. Today, we eat what’s available and convenient, and as we continue to allow our subconscious to run the show, the more we find ourselves bloated, eating constantly throughout the day (due to empty calories), uncomfortable, and even overweight.
The solution? Find consciousness.
Instead of sitting down at a restaurant and ordering whatever it is that you’re craving in the moment, allowing your conscious self to take over means looking over the menu, reading the ingredients, and finding an option that works best for you (not your cravings), and the health of your body. Or simply, saying no to the icky stuff. If you’re one like me who has a desire to eat well (health is wealth), being conscious makes it easier to resist the sugary, processed foods that leaves me depleted and feeling like crap.
It also matters on how we eat. You know, not slugging down your food. I’m guilty of this as I’ve always been the first one out of all my friends to finish my food, even since childhood. But the more we eat fast, in large portions or snacking heavily throughout the day, the more we hurt our body’s ability to digest food properly. This can lead to sluggishness, weight gain, leaky gut, stress, and even disease in the long-term!
If you’ve always dealt with stubborn fat and feelings of lethargy after meals, conscious eating may be part of the solution! Ever since I’ve taken control of my poor eating habits I’ve noticed not only a difference in my digestion and energy, but more gratitude towards the food in front of me. It’s a gift to eat, to consume food that keeps us going day in and day out. Conscious eating doesn’t take much but a little bit of mindfulness. Even keeping a food journal will help expand such consciousness – I’ve done so and it’s the perfect tool to keep myself accountable and in charge.
I can promise you this: if you put yourself in the role of an observer, watching how you eat, what you eat, and how often you eat, you will see wonderful changes in your physique, cognition, and perspective on food. Give it a shot!