In our society of abundance we don’t just see fuel as food for our bodies, food has developed into to something more complex that make us feel better. People are developing more intense relationships with foods which can become problematic. The pattern and style of which we consume food has changed dramatically since that of our ancestors. Where once we had to hunt and gather for food now we can walk to the fridge or the local cafe. 

This of course is natural evolution and is not to suggest we revert back to primitive ways but these days more of us eat out of habit and simply because food is there rather than because our body needs food. Secondly we have the influence of the media and advertisers to entice us to eat more food and more unhealthy food. Some foods have even become synonymous with certain antecedent moments in our lives. For example eating ice cream when we are depressed or have had a recent break up from a loved one.

If our urge to eat is usually triggered by external situations such as the time of day or the availability of food, we may lose the awareness of our body’s messages of hunger. If eating is our primary coping mechanism for dealing with uncomfortable feelings, we may never experience physical hunger since we are medicating ourselves with food before we even experience the sensations of hunger. Most of us go unconscious when we eat. After the first few bites, we don’t even taste it. This is likely because we are usually doing five other things whilst eating. To feel the physical satisfaction from the food, it is important to be relaxed and aware as you eat. This will help you to cultivate a sense of gratitude for your food. Each time we remember to eat with awareness, we return to that place of inner peace.

We eat in response to our minds and we feed our bodies without consulting our bodies. If you’re not experiencing physical hunger, yet you’re still reaching for the food, then it’s time to figure out what you want from food beyond its nourishing your body. A sure-fire way of doing that is to ask: What is it I don’t want to feel, do, or say right now? As we begin listening to our bodies, we discover our own voice – something we were often too young to know we had given away. Deciding what goes into our mouths, and when, is very empowering.
  •  Food is fuel for our bodies, not a drug for our souls. As we learn to nourish our bodies, we find that we are spiritually nourished as well.
  • There is nothing you can’t have tomorrow so there is no reason to eat it all today.
  • If we change our relationship to food, we have to find other ways to entertain ourselves, comfort ourselves, and find pleasure.
  • Stay focused on the healthy choices you’re making each day. If you do indulge in old behaviours with food, release the guilt or thoughts of “falling off the wagon.” There is no wagon to fall off. We’re not giving anything up. We can still eat that whole bag of Doritos if we want, but we’re choosing not to.
  • When we stop dieting, we have to trust that our body will tell us what it needs. This can be terrifying because we think we need so much. We still want what we weren’t allowed as a child. More often than not, this has little to do with food.
  • Food cravings are physical. Food obsessions are emotional.
  • Physical cravings are our cells crying for the nutrients they need. Sadly, we often respond to this urge by eating highly processed and refined foods which only promote further malnourishment.
  • Mineral-rich foods, like dark leafy greens and sea vegetables, stave off cravings.

Listen to your body today and when you next feel like eating, are you really hungry?