I went through stages of dieting and bingeing. It was either fasting and ignoring hunger, or strictly eliminating “bad” kinds of food of my diet. But then if I ate one “forbidden” food cause I lost control I fell into a spine of overeating. I overate on things that I forbid myself because I thought they would make me fat. I binged on everything I loved. Ice cream, chocolate, candy bars, cakes, candy, bread… All the supposedly “bad” food. Then I told myself: “Well this one time is fine. Don't worry. One binge will not make you fat”. But one binge joined another. An within no time I regained the kilos which I had painfully lost sacrificing food.
So now. Find the mistake.
It is the balance. There was none.
I either starved myself or restictedly ate only “good foods” avoiding carbs or dairy or whatever I found to be bad. And on the other hand I – often secretly- stuffed myself with forbidden food.
This is not a healthy relationship with food.
Being skinny and eating well might look okay from the outside it was a mess in the inside. There was always food on my mind. Buzzing and circling wherever I was. Like a never ending tape.
So I started to stop. I stopped this ups and downs and this extremes.
Ayurveda helped my find my inner balance as well as regaining my inner peace and helping me building a “normal” relationship with food.
This is what is known as intuitive eating.
I started to stop.
I saw food as my enemy. Of course, I thought if I eat I will get fat. So I hated to eat. And I love to cook as you know. But often times I cooked for others while not eating. I enjoyed watching other people eat. Weird isn’t it? I may have thought I didn't deserve to eat or I didn't deserve a proper meal as all I wanted was to be skinny. Instead of eating proper meals which were cooked and made with love, I snacked a lot. Of course, snacking doesn't count. I ate while standing, or walking, I ate directly out of the fridge or from other plates. Again, this kind of eating doesn't count.
Also, I stopped to label my food as good and bad. Food was just food. If I was hungry all foods was good. Good enough to nourish my body with energy. I made peace with all the “Bad” food and also I made peace with myself. Ending the struggle.
Realising that eating and being able to eat a Burger is probably the best thing that ever happened to me.
I changed my diet mentality. There is no diet. I will eat whatever I want and whatever I fell like and how much I want. Sounds crazy right? How am I not getting fat again?
The one and only secret is: I listen to my body. I listen to it when it says: Vic, I am hungry, feed me. And I listen when it says: Vic, stop I am satisfied. Sometimes it can be only bites between being hungry or satisfied or full. Pay attention to your body and it will tell you what it needs.
Often we forget what actual hunger is. We eat because it is time, we eat out ouf routine, we eat because other people around us are eating and we feel like we are missing out on something. Indeed food and eating is a social thing.
However, keep in mind to listen to your body. That is the only key.
When I started I had the weirdest cravings. The (Starbucks) chocolate truffle cake, white bread, oats, rice, potatoes - mainly carb rich foods. Food that I had avoided for a long time.
I came to learn how to listen to my body. How to give in when I was hungry. How to listen what I was hungry for and most important how to stop when I was satisfied.
Pay attention to your physical hunger. What does it feel like? Where do you feel it?
Ayurveda recommends you wise things I will list below:
I love eating with my hands. It involves another sense. Touching. When I touch my food it tastes a lot better. Trust me. You should try it. Feel like a child again and dig in.
What you will notice too is that often times you eat way to hot. Or to cold. Ask yourself, If you can not hold it with your hands how on earth is your stomach be able to handle it.
I don’t feel bad about ‘cheating’ anymore because there’s no such thing—it’s just eating!
I’ve loved getting back in touch with my real stomach hunger and enjoying what I eat, instead of rushing through and eating as much as I can
I do try to pay attention to enjoying really good food, prepared with love and eaten slowly.
Eat only when you are hungry. As in really hungry -- that is to say, when your previous meal has been completely digested. Sometime we might think that we are hungry. This is apetit. Or sometimes we mistake hunger for thirst. Re-discover how it feels to be really hungry. How? WAIT. If the first thing in the morning is your breakfast you are a routine eater. You eat because you know you have to eat breakfast or you are very used to eating breakfast. Try one thing. Just wait. Wait until you feel real physical hunger.
Eat in a calm and comfortable place. Sit down when you eat and eat with as little distraction as possible: no tv, no book, no phone, no laptop. Take time for yourself and cherish the food you are eating. You are doing something good for you. You are satisfying an urging need. Hunger ist he signal of survival. It prevents you from starvationg. When you are hungry you are alive. Your body is telling you: I need food to survive. Dont ignore this signal.
Eat the right quantity. Thats what I found most difficult. I was always scared to not have enought. We are all different, with different needs and different stomach size and metabolic speed. Listen to your body and eat only to point when you feel satisfied. Eat slowly and enjoy every bite. When you speed and want to get it over with you will be full quickly. When I found myself rushing the food I was already full, but I wanted to eat up the plate. Dont. Get rid of this OCD. There is no such thing as eating up the plate. This is stuck in our brains. But it is your stomach is the one signaling that it is full, right? Dont eat until you are feeling sick. It helped me having little breaks inbetween the meal putting down my fork. Or simply asking myself. Are you hungry? Yes? No? Another bite maybe?
Eat warm meals. I found myself living off salads. Raw and uncooked low calorie food. Fine, at least I must not feel bad if I overate on salad. Wrong. For my body it was a big struggle to digest all the uncooked and raw food. Have freshly cooked or prepared food. Make sure that is neither cold like coming out of the fridge or too hot (touch it with your hand or lips, when it is okay, eat it).
Try not eat incompatible food items together. This might lead to an upset stomach. Read here or on my other Tips and Trick categories about the food combinations which you should avoid.
Be present when you eat. Use all your 5 senses. Take time to appreciate the smell of your meal, the look of your plate, the texture of your food, the different flavors, and the sounds that you make when you eat.
Don't eat fast. Don’t just swallow your food, take your time to chew. Chewing is an essential step of digestion.