Every Single Bite You Take

Mindful eating: a recipe for success

Our obsession with eating, dieting and weight loss is apparent, what we have become blind to, is the root cause for overeating and lack of appetite or appreciation for food.

We have become fools to certain food types- we loose control when we see a plate of small chops, the more puff puff in the pack the better the caterer. We stuff our face with all that fried food, at every turn, we ask ourselves who can say no to small chops, definitely not me. 

Only as soon as your plate is empty and you have left the party behind, you swear never again to eat small chops.

I used to chastise myself about puff-puff binging. A little voice in my head was constantly telling me how big my stomach was, how silly i was and how out of control. Until i reached a point when i decided to take on that voice and when i did, something happened; the more i berated myself for eating puff puff, the more puff puff i wanted, but when i gave myself permission to eat them, my need for overindulging diminished.

When we are confronted with food at every turn, like it is at Lagos parties we are especially prone to “distracted eating” we are watching the crowd and putting food in our mouths and we say things like “the party is not over until after the small chops”. We wind up consuming more than we intended and then we feel bad about it. Guilt that will lead to panic- If i don’t control my eating, i’ll never stop, anxiety that will in turn make it impossible to figure out what we really want to eat or even weather we are truly hungry.

I still enjoy puff-puff. but now instead of packing them in, i allow myself to truly enjoy them. I smell them, admire the shape, and appreciate the yeast action and the fluff with every bite i take. so not only do i find it more pleasurable, but i also feel happier when i eat it and less stressed.

To put it more concisely, Brian Wansink Professor and Director of Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, has identified four food habits that contribute to overeating:  food as comfort, food as reward, food as punishment, and food as guilt.

It is advised that you identify what contributes to your overeating and i can be sure it would be one of the four mentioned above. 

Next, let me help you do find success with mindful eating, that will not only help you shed the pounds but will lead to to a healthier, happier and more successful life. 

Just follow these easy steps.

Tap into your body’s cues: the human body is designed to work, self-heal and self-regulate. Take for example babies will eat with enthusiasm when they are hungry and refuse food when they are full. Problem arise when we overrule our body’s signals, telling ourselves we should not be hungry or eating past the point of fullness. So check in with your body before you eat and listen to it.

Slow down: look at and smell the food on your plate. Savor each bit for a few seconds and really taste it. Let your mouth, tongue, taste buds and saliva get into the action, this allow for a total acknowledgment and an appreciation for the food, whether the stomach is hungry or full. 

Avoid panicked eating. anticipating a new year’s diet or detox for instance can make you want to gobble every food in sight. don’t let this be you, don’t give in to the scarcity mentality say this aloud; there will always be more small chops and puff puff. You can always have them later.

Speak, eat, repeat: don’t talk with food in your mouth, is probably one of the oldest lessons we are taught as children, yet many are still talking and eating. So even at the dining table when you are enjoying good company, always remember that you also like good food and neither of them should suffer a lack of attention. Enjoy your meal.
Just say no; we have all been there; your host insists on loading your plate, and you feel obliged to eat it. have a polite “No, thank you” ready if your are really full and say it as many times as you need to. Just because, someone asks you three times doesn't mean you have to change your answer.

Be compassionate toward yourself, for all the talk of self love, my people still miss the mark with the simplest act of compassion. You are perfectly imperfect. Overeating is not a moral failing and mindful eating is not a virtue- it is just a useful strategy that can support good health, both physical and mental.

Remember that there is nothing wrong with having fried food, if you truly want it. Just be sure to enjoy every bit.

Join us for an interactive panel discussion on Mindful Eating at SWMLagos,

Where: SMWLagos 2019 Campus OFFLINE Wellness Studio

When: Tuesday the 4th February 9.30 am & Thursday 6th February 9.30 am

For Registration: www.smwlagos.com/attend