In my experience, most overweight people do not eat for maximum pleasure. They usually think that they do, and smile when they describe impulsively gobbling down fattening foods as “immediate gratification”. But, they haven’t considered the whole picture, or really listened to their physical feelings when they were indulging.
I like to ask them how they feel physically after a bout of instant gratification, and usually they report feeling heavy and tired, not to mention disappointed that they have overeaten again. And, the next day when they contemplate the previous day’s meal… well, it’s not a cheerful thought.
Instant gratification eating is done on autopilot. The person can’t really enjoy the food to the fullest, because they are not fully conscious of the eating. If they were to pay full attention, savoring and chewing every mouthful thoroughly, while noticing the increasing feelings of satisfaction and fullness, not only would there be greater enjoyment of the food, they would be more satisfied and eat less as well.
That is a bold statement. But it’s something we can all try for ourselves. To eat more consciously, chewing and savoring each moment of eating, only eat. No TV, or reading, or other distractions. Just eat. And, chew each mouthful twenty times or more, making sure to liquefy each bite before swallowing.
Thorough chewing will produce better digestion, and since it takes longer to chew thoroughly, it will give your body time to register feelings of fullness. Fast eating makes it easy to go past feelings of fullness before we become conscious of them.
The fullest possible pleasure from eating comes from eating consciously, savoring each bite, and enjoying fullness. Overeating just does not feel as good as that.
One way to choose which foods to eat is to vividly imagine how we will feel physically if we were to eat them. Then simply eat the foods that will make us feel good physically. Some days it might be a piece of candy, on others a ripe juicy apple.
Wesley Anderson, Doctor of Clinical Hypnotherapy was interviewed by CNN along with Dr. David Spiegel. Read more...