If you’re an emotional eater, your brain is wired to eat whatever is in front of you during times of stress. Here is a simple little exercise that I’ve created to share with my clients which creates an effortless change of habit around meal times. Give it a try and see what you think.
If you are a gal struggling with trying to eat in response to your body’s natural signals of hunger (also known as eating intuitively), yet you are continually consuming more than you want at each meal; this exercise might be helpful to you. It’s called the
Middle of the Road Slide
As soon as you sense that your physiological hunger is beginning to get satisfied, take your plate and move it to the right or left, out of visual range.
Resist the urge of wanting to do anything to destroy your food, such as wetting it, tossing cigarette butts or tea bags on it or pouring salt, pepper or hot sauce on the remaining food.
These are all old diet tricks that have been taught to us to fool us into thinking that we’re full. Unfortunately these games convey negative messages to your subconscious mind that you can not be trusted around food.
This can lead to feelings of deprivation and loss and ultimately trigger a desire to binge.
The purpose of this exercise is to give you more choices, allowing you to take your next action from a position of strength. If you would do anything to destroy the quality of your food, that would defeat the purpose and cause you to feel cheated.
Middle of the Road Slide Exercise
1. At the midpoint of your meal, pause and stop eating your food
2. Take a deep breath
3. Slide your plate out of visual range, either to the left or to the right, not directly in front of you
3. Focus on feeling the sensations in your tummy.
4. Ask yourself these questions:
How satisfied am I feeling now?
What would I like to do next?
This is an opportunity to recalibrate your hunger and to reassess your level of satisfaction.
By moving your plate out of visual range, you are interrupting a well formed pattern that has been etched in your brain over time. In Neuro Linguistic Programming or NLP, you are doing what is known as Collapsing an anchor. An anchor is a stimulus that stirs the brain to remember something that holds a special meaning. In this case, the anchor is to have a plate of food in front of you and to feel compelled to reach for what is in front of you and eat it, despite not being hungry anymore. You are breaking that pattern and creating space for a new behavior by asking yourself what would I like to do next?
As emotional eaters, we have been conditioned to see food and respond by eating what is most visually accessible. This simple exercise puts a new spin of awareness on what you are doing. It makes your choice to continue to eat a conscious one instead of a knee jerk reflex.
This exercise is one of many that I offer in my upcoming, “Lovin’ the Skin You’re In” program. Previously known as Losing Weight without Dieting Program, the program combines Intuitive Eating skill with the kick that can only come from energy coaching. If you’re seeking to reclaim your power over food and eat what you love and lose weight naturally without the pain of dieting then, run don’t walk to register for my next session starting on May 4, 2015.
Andrea Amador, effortless, intuitive eating, emotional eating, fat, obesity, anxiety,