Welcome to this festive time of year, I hope you are starting to enjoy the build up to Christmas and maybe some time off. I really enjoy this time of year (as long as I am organised!) with the sparkly lights and how much effort people put into seeing each other and enjoying their time together.

Over the last couple of months I have been listening to quite a few of the “Psychology of Eating” podcasts (these are just recorded interviews, for those that don’t know) and I have found some of their tips and advice really helpful, so I thought I would share with you some of the things I have learnt and that I am using myself:

Eating is about so much more than just eating!

Food as Fuel: Most of us tend to think of mealtimes as something we need to do, as a fuel stop, but do not tend to get too much enjoyment from them. I fell into this trap more recently (for the umpteenth time!) between clients, just grabbing something quick and easy, not taking time to prepare anything fresh or even plate it up and rushing through it. But as was pointed out to me most of us need a great deal more from our food than just fuel, we take comfort from it, the smell of food can evoke strong memories for us and on a cold day we use it for warmth. If we don’t take time to prepare delicious fresh food and savour it, we are missing so many of these additional benefits.

Take it Slow: By taking time out to prepare food our bodies have a chance to be ready for what’s coming and it becomes more of a sensory experience. The brain needs to experience aroma, taste, pleasure and emotional satisfaction to be satisfied and so by rushing the prep and then the eating itself, we deny ourselves what our brains were designed to do around food. If you then eat more slowly, we are much more likely to stop when we are full, feel satisfied when we have finished and not reach for a ton of junk food 5 minutes later.

Eating Junk: I don’t know a single person who doesn’t turn to food for comfort at some point in their lives and let’s face it it’s always got to be junk (!) and I was blown away by this advice. Don’t give yourself a hard time about it, plan what you are going to eat and decide how much you will need to get whatever you need from that food (do not under estimate this, really take what you need), put it in a nice bowl or on a plate and sit down. Now really enjoy every single mouthful i.e. do not inhale it, really savour it, eat it sensuously and if you feel that you need more when you have finished give yourself that permission.

I have found all of these things very powerful as I feel they address the reality of how we eat or use food and honestly how refreshing is that! To listen to any of their podcasts go to iTunes and search for Psychology of Eating or go to their website: http://psychologyofeating.com/podcasts/.

And as ever I would love to hear from you, so head over to my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lorimcphersonwellbeing or follow me on Twitter @studio7therapy and let me know what’s going on!

Health and happiness

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