If you love to eat, use it to your advantage. Go for quality food and quality experience in eating it. You want to amplify, exaggerate and expand your eating experience. And, be so present to yourself and to the food that you feel the point of “enough” and are fulfilled. These tenets apply in every eating situation, whether you are at a party, hosting one, surrounded by treats at work or eating an everyday (hopefully always special and festive) meal at home.
You might need a snack beforehand to be sure you are pleasantly hungry, not ravagingly hungry so you can better enjoy your meal.
As you are getting dressed in the morning or before an occasion, give yourself positive messages about who you really are and about your precious body. See and feel yourself at your natural weight and know your natural weight body is already within you. Acknowledge that you can thoroughly partake in enjoying your food while being true to yourself and eating precisely how much your natural weight body needs.
Consult your Body
Scan all the food offerings first. Notice what items your mind is excited about eating. Then, look closely at each item again and ask your body what it wants to take in. Your body knows what it needs to be nourished. You want to eat mostly what your body wants so that you get that deeper satisfaction of “Ahh, that hit the spot.”
Enter Your Sanctuary
Before you take your first bite, take a couple of calming and centering breaths. Breathe in peace and calm, breathe out any stress and tension. Breathe in connection with yourself and your truth and breathe out anything that doesn’t belong in this space of your inner sanctuary while you eat. Remind yourself again who you are and what you want for yourself and confirm how compelling this is. And, acknowledge your gratitude for the food and that with this food eaten mindfully, you are becoming healthier and slimmer. Throughout the meal, endeavor to notice if you’ve left your sanctuary and gently bring yourself back in.
Stimulate Your Senses
The more you involve your senses the more you can satisfy your brain and get its agreement to stop when your body has had enough. Your senses are the most stimulatable when you are hungry, about to eat and start in on your first few bites. So, before taking your first bite, take a good look at each item. Notice the colors and shapes – nature’s artwork. Smell each item. You want to know its essence, its secrets.
Be a Connoisseur
Become a connoisseur of whatever you are eating. To receive the most flavor, you can take small bites, chew well and tune in to experience the initial, middle and ending notes. Be present to what is in your mouth in that moment, not your future bite. As the flavor lingers, you can look back down at your plate to choose your next most wonderful bite or combination of flavors to compliment your last one. You want to pick up on every little detail and nuance of flavor and texture.
Your stomach is the size of your two hands put together. You don’t have enough stomach space to go on automatic. Make every bite a conscious choice.
The more delicious something is, the more you want to slow it down in your mind as if you’re eating in slow motion so you can imprint it upon your memory. Always be aware that your taste buds are in your mouth, not your stomach.
It’s surprising how well you can stay with yourself and be present to the sensations in your mouth and your next bite choice while you are listening to everything in the conversation.
If someone asks you a question, don’t leave yourself to tend to them. They can see you are finishing your bite and plan to answer in a moment. You could be setting a precedence at the table for everyone to slow down and get their fill of enjoyment.
Pleasure is Your Goal and Your Guide
Every several bites check in with your tummy to feel the status of its fullness.
As you are moving toward fullness, look closely at the food left on your plate. Notice what items you still have a gumption to eat and what you have no gumption to finish.
Notice how the flavor declines, your enthusiasm wanes and how your tummy feels when you are approaching being full. Thus, pleasure is your goal and your guide because when you’re not experiencing utmost pleasure anymore, you want to stop and have it again later when it will deliver the greatest pleasure again.
Having Your Dessert
Be sure you leave a few bites of space in your tummy if you wish to end on a sweet note. You just can’t enjoy dessert as well eating it on a full stomach.
Start all over again with looking at your dessert and smelling it. Get to know it intimately. Be sure to let the flavor dissipate before taking another bite. You want each new bite to be a contrast in your mouth, and deliver a POW. Notice when your palate doesn’t clear much between bites and has become saturated with sweetness and the flavor and thus, one more bite won’t add anything – usually by the 4th-6th bite.
Savor Your Alcohol, Too
As with each bite of food, with an alcoholic beverage, you want to be present to fully experience every sip. Have another beverage, such as sparkling water with lemon, alongside your drink. It can provide thirst quenching and hand to mouth action to help your one or two glasses of wine last through the evening.
How to Show Appreciation
To show someone who made food for you that you really appreciate it, compliment the flavors, be interested in the recipe and ask to take some home. If it’s dessert and you’re full, let them know you think it looks beautiful and delicious and would love to take a piece home so you can enjoy it better when you’re not stuffed.
“Enough is as good as a feast.” John Heywood