The Reflective Eating Experience
Eating well and mindfully is an important part of reaching your fitness goals.
This post isn't going to tell you what to eat.
This post isn't going to share any secrets to shedding 10 lbs of fat over the next 45 days. What this post will do (hopefully) is to get you to reflect on your behavior and relationship with food. Often times, we will go about our lives for a few months of just living life. Not much attention paid to it. We just get caught up of "grinding" through the day-to-day. It gets a bit repetitive. A bit mindless. We go on auto-pilot.
The one area that typically becomes an afterthought when this occurs is our nutrition.
It's not just what you're eating either. It's how you go about eating, your preparation with consuming food, and how your mind functions before, during, and after the meal.
Before Your Meal
How am I going to feel if I eat what I'm about to eat?*
Do I really NEED to eat this?
Did I prepare for this meal? (i.e. did I bring food from home, did I research where I'm going to eat based on my lifestyle & preferences, etc)
If yes, then why am I eating this?
Do I accept the possible consequences of eating this meal? (i.e. bloated, allergic response, not ideal with what health & fitness goals are, etc.)
*I'm not talking about if you will feel guilty. It's common to feel guilty from time-to-time, but for it to be something that you experience frequently, then I recommend seeking professional help. Add a quality registered dietitian who specializes in eating disorders AND / OR a qualified therapist to your team.
During Your Meal
Am I thoroughly chewing my food? (chew to the consistency of oatmeal or close to it; usually at least 20 chews before swallowing)
Am I consciously present with my meal or am I stressed & anxious with what I need to do for the remainder of the day?
After Your Meal
How do I feel?
If lethargic, bloated, and / or stomach pain, was it worth feeling this way?
What can I do in the future to avoid feeling this way? (i.e. control my portions, etc)
If I feel good, then what did I do this meal that I can do in the future (i.e. had a mixed greens salad with my burger rather than french fries)
These are just a few examples of practicing a reflective eating experience. There are obviously many more that I did not cover.
If you're struggling with your weight, performance, energy levels, sleep, or anything related to your physical appearance or health, then assess your current eating experience. As minor as it seems, it could make all the difference with you making progress and starting 2019 strong!
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