I have been on the struggle bus with this one lately.
Mealtimes alone are… hard. I am just itching to occupy my busy mind with a new episode of Orange is the New Black (yes, I am linking it to you in case you want to kill many many hours too), responding to text messages, perusing Instagram, or chatting on the phone with a family member.
The result is that I wind up grazing for the entirety of that activity and overeating. My mind is busy focusing on the show or emails and I am unable to punctuate eating and then move on to my next activity.
Food has been like sprinkles, great with other things… but by itself, not nearly as satisfying.
We like to multi-task! We like to be eating and talking or eating and doing. And sometimes, it is difficult to just… eat. Do you ever have a hard time eating alone? Undistracted?
Treating food like sprinkles leads to…
- Eating foods that don’t make you feel good
- Anxiety and stress
- A dirty phone or laptop (gross, right?)
All less than desirable. How to kick this habit?!
Here are my 3 go-to’s for when I find myself in the rut of distractedly overeating:
#1: Commit to eating all of your meals sitting down, at a table, free from distractions.
This allows you to punctuate the activity. To give it a beginning and an end. If you are texting, you do that ALL DAY. Or if you are watching a movie… That lasts 1.5 hrs! Or if you are browsing Insta you could swipe down for days.
When you give your food the attention it deserves, you put your body in a place to better digest and assimilate its nutrients. You are also less likely to overeat because your mind is fully there and not have wrapped up in the TV drama or responding to that email.
#2: Make your food beautiful.
Beautiful food is fun and we are more appreciative when we eat it. If it is a delight for all of your senses, you will treat it as such.
Ever gotten a plate that looked so pretty you didn’t want to eat it? Make as many meals as you can Instagram worthy. You will cherish and enjoy them more.
#3: Sit down and pause for a moment before eating
In Ayurvedic texts your agni, or digestive fire, is an extremely important part of the digestion process. This is when your brain tells your body, hey, I’m ready to eat and something is on it’s way.
I often find myself picking things off of the plate with my fingers en route to the table. When you slow down, pause, look at your meal, you are giving your body the best chance to not only digest and assimilate the nutrients of the meal, but also to feel satisfied when it is over.
#4: Drink a cup of warm ginger water before, during, or after eating.
Ginger is a digestive which means it helps your body break down food by generating saliva, bile, and increasing gastric juice production (appetizing, right?).
I am a big fan of avoiding liquids immediately before, during, or right after a meal. Fluids can dilute your digestive juices. Especially cold fluids.
Warm ginger water after a meal can help stave away cravings (even just the smell of it!) and can ease/prevent any digestive discomfort.
Do you have a hard time overeating?
Could distractedly eating contribute?
I would love to know what’s on your plate and mind about this topic.