What is eating intention?
Eating intention is more than just being aware of what foods we put into our bodies. Eating intention is allowing your body to receive the most out of the foods you are eating. Let me explain...
We often believe that all we have to do is eat nutritious foods to be healthy, and don’t get me wrong, this is the important first step. But it is the other factors that aren’t necessarily recognized. For example, how our food is prepared or the environment and physical state in which we are eating in.
How to practice eating intention
Knowing how food is prepared
- Often we think eating healthy is affective as long as we just do it. But many times when we eat and the food is prepared in a way that the body has a hard time digesting. Think about how you are preparing food as much as you think about which food to prepare.
Understanding the environment in which you are eating
- Is this environment stressful? If so, you are inhibiting your digestion system by setting it up for failure. Our body needs time to see the food and prepare itself for consumption. When our busy lives cause us to scarf down our food, our body is not prepared to digest and takes more energy to do so which results in feeling tired after eating.
- You may have heard people suggest chewing your food more. The reason for this is because the more food is ground up, the easier it is for your body to digest. That way your digestive system doesn't have to work so hard and you are not so tired.
- This is why some people, although they are eating healthy, have a hard time loosing that last bit of weight. It is because the environment they are eating in is too stressful that their digestion actually shuts down and is not ready to consume.
- Making food fun and simple is the easiest way to be successful.
- Start by looking at your schedule and lifestyle. If you are constantly on-the-go and rely on easy pick-up ready-to-eat food, then find the healthies options and write them down. Do your research before so that you know when you’re running around, you know the coffee shop down the street has a healthy superfood salad you can always go to. Find places like that.
- If you enjoy cooking, make it easy and fun. Foods don’t have to be extravagant and sometimes the best ones aren’t. When you go to the grocery store think about how many meals you need and how to make them all well rounded. When you get home make it easy, throw it in the oven and package it up. Then it is easy to grab and go.
- Always buy little meals you love that are easy. Maybe some hummus and carrots or turkey and mustard. Place a bunch of veggies and fruits in tupperware and don’t make it too complicated. Once you have that down then maybe you start to try something new.
- Recreate your favorite meals you eat out at home. By doing so you will naturally make them healthier because most of the time we would never use the ingredients at home that they use in a restaurant. Again, making it simpler. For example, my favorite chopped salad place. I went to the store got the ingredients and use lemon as dressing. Same salad, less money, loads healthier.
Let there be balance
- Pick days you want to eat clean and let other days’ balance you out. Every week I plan on eating clean and healthy Monday through Thursday so then I can be a little more lenient on the weekends. If I know I have an event coming up, I will prepare for that in advance. And by prepare I don’t mean eat super strict, but I will keep it in mind when I go to make food throughout the week.