Inviting Your Mind to the Dinner Table

Often times I will ask someone to recount what they had to eat the day before, and many people will try and think back, and not be able to remember what they had for breakfast, lunch and sometimes even dinner. Very often, meals are “on the go” – with perhaps some thought going into the what, but far less going into the how and where.

The thing is, our appetite, satiety and weight are regulated by our minds. So, if we aren’t bringing our minds to the party, it’s very difficult for the body to make the necessary changes in terms of making shifts. The body goes where the mind sends it.

Remember, that the brain is the control center, so if we are constantly leaving it out of the equation, we aren’t going to get the results we want.

Studies have also shown that being more mindful and allowing your mind to be part of the process leads to improved weight management and a better relationship with food.

For the next few days, before every meal, ask the following questions:

  1. What have I chosen to put into my body?
    1. Are my food choices based on what I know are the most nutritious for my body, or are the choices based on what is the quickest, most convenient, or what is available?
  2. Why am I eating?
    1. Am I hungry, tired, frustrated or just eating to be social (snacking at a party).
  3. Where do I eat my meals?
    1. Am I eating in the car or at my desk? In-between meetings? No matter what job you have: you should, can and must make time to have your meals. If it isn’t the norm in your office (something I hear quite a lot), make it the norm.
  4. When am I eating?
    1. Consistently skipping lunch or having lunch at 4pm is not a good habit to get into. Set your alarm if you have to, but make sure that you nourish your body.
  5. How do I feel after eating this meal?
    1. Food should make you feel energized, not sluggish. We should also be eating meals without feeling guilty. Therefore, become aware of how your meals make you feel. Do this over time, even just for a few days and you will slowly start to see how you become more aware of what your body likes and dislikes. Learning to navigate your nutritional needs is one of the most powerful tools you will ever acquire.