I am often asked, “How can I trust my food choices when I have ended up here (unwell, overweight and feeling deflated)?” Building trust in your innate ability to choose what you need requires taking a mindful approach to eating and living. Trust your food choices through observation, choice and reflection.
Trust your food choices
When I say, “trust your food choices”, I mean that you feel confident in your way of eating for your personal health and wellbeing. It is the opposite of, “I don’t even know what healthy eating is anymore.” Trust your food choices through knowing yourself, knowing your food and knowing how to introduce and live with your new choices.
#1 Observe your reasons for choosing
Cultivating trust requires us to understand our current way of eating. In an earlier post I have suggested checking in with your appetite. You might like to read this post before continuing on.
After you have checked in with your appetite and selected your food, ask yourself:
- Why do I feel like this food?
- What benefit does this food, or meal, provide?
- How much do I need?
You confirm that you are hungry. It is mid afternoon and you feel like a pick-me-up. Your preferred choice is some chocolate. But when you consider any benefit from eating the chocolate you realise that you are actually thirsty, and a drink of water is what you need.
Asking questions often reveal answers that we are not expecting.
This is an example of mindful eating, you pause before you eat and ask questions about what you need, right now.
#2 Choose what is best for you now
You choose water as your pick-me-up. You have to leave your desk and walk to the kitchen to fill up your water bottle. As you are walking you feel that your shoulders are a bit tight so you complete a few shoulder rolls. Once back at your desk you reassess your posture and enjoy a few mouthfuls of water. You notice the water temperature and the feel of the liquid in your mouth, and as you swallow. You are also more aware of your posture.
#3 Reflect on benefits from your choice
Chocolate and other high fat and sugar snacks are often a quick fix, but topping up your energy and increasing your alertness doesn’t always require food. In this example, taking a break, moving and drinking water was the best pick-me-up. You realised that there were several appropriate options to increase your energy levels and focus. You felt refreshed and ready to continue your work.
Building trust in your choice of food does require effort on your part—pause before your eat, check in with your appetite and ask a few questions about your choice of food. Also take notice of how your body and mind feel, as food may not be your medicine in every instance.
Image from Foodies Feed PicJumbo