Deprivation never works in a diet.
In fact, the word diet has become heavily associated with pain, over control, even boredom.
Now, I don’t know about you, but if my lunch doesn’t in some way excite me, today, tomorrow, and the day after that, I will find myself looking for something to give me an uplift, some sort of post meal treat.
I’m definitely not alone. There is a simple fact of biology involved in searching for a fix, whether it’s chocolate, dessert, alcohol, or constant snacking during the day. These can more easily happen when we neglect the effects of our emotional metabolism over the physical metabolism.
Emotions trigger chemicals and chemicals create reactions in how we digest, assimilate, metabolize, in addition to affecting our levels of hunger.
One simple way to put this into practice is by shifting a mindset of deprivation, stress, anxiety or rushing through the meal, into being Present with a capital P. Meaning: tasting, smelling, chewing, experiencing the meal. This process will help trigger the cephalic phase, which is that very first phase of your digestion so often bypassed.
But you may not know that…
The cephalic phase is responsible for:
- Activating your digestive enzymes
- Stimulating the stomach to release the hydrochloric acid necessary to digest your proteins
- Regulating the hormonal impulses that give you a sensation of fullness
- Helping to regulate your hunger hormones so they turn off after you finish eating
The longer the food stays in your mouth, the more efficient your digestion will be. The process of dissolution and decomposition of food, before you even swallow, signals hormones, enzymes, and gastric juices needed for digestion.
Being present with a meal is not just some woo woo concept that looks pretty. It has a very real, measurable, chemical and hormonal component that not only affects your emotional experience of the meal, but how you digest it, metabolize it, and how hungry you feel after you eat.
Besides, when you think of metabolism, think of weight.
Are you beginning to see some connections between chronic dieting and our inability to lose weight?
So, back to our emotional metabolism, to put it simply:
How does this tidbit of knowledge help put eating into perspective for you?