Eat with intention even if you’re standing in the kitchen at 2 o’clock in the morning eating ice cream out of the container. Maybe you shouldn’t be, but you are. So why not allow yourself to do it? You might learn something.
2. Pay attention
Not just to what you’re eating but also to what you’re thinking and feeling. Are you happy, sad, stressed, guilty? Maybe all of the above are in play. What’s pleasurable? Taste, mouth feel, chewing, swallowing, feeling full? It’s easy to get so caught up in the guilt and self-recrimination that we miss all the other sensations.
3. Forget portion control
What? Yup you read that right. This must be the most oppressive term ever invented. Our bodies are complex mechanisms, some days you will be more hungry than others. That half cup of rice that X diet says should be enough for your lunch may be too much one day and not nearly enough the next.
4. Eat when you’re hungry
This is not as easy as it sounds, especially if you have lots of emotional baggage with food. It is possible to learn to listen to your body’s hunger signals.
5. Get real about your addiction
Would you tell an alcoholic if they could drink mindfully they would be satisﬁed with half a gin and tonic? Food addiction is real. But your addiction and my addiction may look very diﬀerent from each other. LOTS of Weight Loss Coaches will tell you that you need to stop eating x because that’s what they’re addicted to. I won’t burden you with my addictions, but I will challenge you to identify yours.
6. Treat yourself with kindness and compassion, even at your worst moment
Especially at your worst moment. Cruelty never solved anything and neither has guilt.
7. Stop fat shaming yourself
It’s a strange culture we live in, being overweight is now the norm in most of the English-speaking world, but there’s a cultural undercurrent of shame attached to being fat. Again, cruelty never fixed anything.
8. Learn to trust yourself
Even if you feel out of control right now, it is possible to learn how to trust yourself with some practice.
9. Own your food choices
Psychologists who study this stuff say we make an average of 200 hundred choices a day regarding what to eat or not eat. Most of these are unconscious. Bringing awareness to all your choices helps you learn to make the best ones for you.
10. You can’t run a marathon at a sprinters pace
Life is a marathon; a diet is a sprint. Pace yourself.