Know What You Want: Listen to Your Food Voice
Learning to recognize what you really want isn’t always as easy as it sounds – but once you know what you want, eating actually becomes easier than ever before. Isn’t everything in life easier when you know what you really want? Relationships, careers, where to live, who to hang around with, what to do with your life, what charities to get involved in – it all makes more sense if you know what you really want. Not what someone else wants. Not what you think you are supposed to want. What you really want.
Listening to your food voice is the key to learning what you really want. Do you really want ice cream, or do you just think you want it because everybody else is getting some? Do you really want to eat the leftover chicken fingers and grilled cheese from your child’s plate, or would you rather sit down and eat something you will really enjoy?
Understanding and tuning in to your true food desires takes some practice, and some keen listening to the quiet but persistent whisper of your food voice. Don’t look for external cues in your environment to help you. You have to tune in to your body and your internal cues, as well as your knowledge from the past about how a food is likely to make you feel.
But right now, you might feel frustrated about how to listen, and how to decide if your thoughts or cravings are based on your food voice or coming out of destructive food noise. There are a lot of ways to do this. Here’s what I do:
– If something sounds really good to me – something I know isn’t the smartest investment – I try to distract myself. I switch lanes, mentally and physically, and often, I forget all about the craving.
– If I can’t stop thinking about it, I probably want it, so I decide to have a small portion. The key is that I decide to have it. I’m in control.
– If I can’t stop thinking about a decadent food but I know that I just saw a picture of it or smelled it or someone else suggested it, I question my first impulse. Maybe it’s just convenient, or a habit. Maybe it’s just food noise. I spend some time seriously asking myself, Do I really want it? Maybe yes, maybe no, but asking yourself is important.
I question my food impulses a lot, just to keep myself in check. When you ask yourself if you really want a certain food you are craving, listen. Right away, you’ll be stopping yourself from eating automatically, without thinking. Make a decision, consciously and with forethought, and you’re already on the right track.
This is an excerpt from Naturally Thin by Bethenny Frankel, available on Amazon.com.