All through my childhood, I was an obese girl. Sparing some comments here and there, nobody actually told me that being obese is a thing and I should be playing more or working out to just keep it as is or to reduce. Portion control was nowhere in the dictionary of my folks and me but I was clearly not overeating 🙂
I am not a foodie but my relationship with food is very emotional. If I am very happy, I want to have good food without any portion control because nobody had taught me how to portion my food.
When I am low or meh, I want to have food again without any portion control because that turns me off.
I can either be eating until my stomach is full or nothing at all. So, the journey started with being obese to normal in a cycle. I could refrain from food totally or totally give in to feel good. Now, my relationship with food is ok if not great and I am happy with it.
What helped me understand my relationship with food?
When you sit and reflect on any of your habits, it becomes easy to sort it out. If you want to understand your relationship with food, just sit down, relax, and write down, what makes you feel better?
What prompts you to overeat?
Here are 10 questions that you can answer and find out what actually makes you overeat.
Are you eating in front of the TV or a mobile?
Distraction is a major cause of overeating. In Indian tradition, dinner time is usually family time. We would sit down and have our food with all the family members. We are not mindful while eating in front of the TV and may end up eating more.
Are you stressed?
Some people eat more when they are stressed. Identify your triggers for stress. They can be
- Life-Changing Events
- Lack of sleep
- Workplace issues
- Home chores ( For stay at home mom, or work from home moms)
- Company of negative people
- Sabotaging environment
Just take a diary and write down whenever you have time, what is your trigger to stress and how are you dealing with it. Being stressed is common but how are you dealing with it is important.
Are you bored?
Have you ever seen babies asking for food when they are not hungry? or just because they are bored? We get bored and we just feel like eating something. Anything which is eaten out of your hunger cues is overeating because our body simply does not need it. The best way to deal with “Bored and want to eat” is to engage yourself in an activity you like to do. Whenever you feel bored, just make sure you walk 10 steps and increase it to 100 steps over time. If you still feel hungry you are really hungry and you need to eat.
How are you eating?
I have a bad habit of eating when I am standing and in the kitchen. So anything that happens during the morning, any stressful call, or anything which disturbs me prompts me to eat something which is available at the counter. Believe me, this realization was tough and it took me years to accept it.
Can eating be a ritual?
Things that we do ritualistically become a habit. Here is how you can make eating a ritual
- Sit in a proper posture on a dining table preferably cross-legged.
- Make sure you do not have any gadget in your hand while eating
- Take food on your plate and chew it slowly till you feel satiated
- After you finish eating, make sure you clear your plate and wash it.
Please observe this ritual even for a snack. If you want to eat on the go, make sure you take some time out to eat in your busy schedule.
Every day overeating may lead to weight gain. The above points will definitely help you get through it.