Do you take the time to make meals and ensure that you are making healthy food choices the majority of the time? Do you accept your love of food and enjoy eating? Do you eat in a mindful manner and pay attention to when you are satiated? If you answered yes, then you are a skillful eater.
On the other hand, disordered eaters do not take time to make sure they are fed. These eaters feel anxious, ambivalent and guilty about eating. They eat in a distracted, mindless manner. They often grab whatever is easily available when they feel hunger pangs without regard for the calories or the nutritional value of the food. Eating is a mindless and distracted activity.
If you want to become a more skillful eater, try feeding instead of starving yourself. Stop looking for the “magic cure” and get off the diet seesaw. When you give yourself permission to eat you alleviate feelings of deprivation and restriction. So what if you have a piece of cake once in a while. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Take a small piece and really enjoy each bite.
It’s very important in our stressful universe to take time to nurture our bodies and souls. Instead of the company of the radio or television, light some candles, put the cell phone in a drawer and enjoy the company of your family or partner at mealtime. You will be delighted by how this makes you feel when you eat a meal without all the distractions that continually bombard us.
Skillful eaters try to eat healthy 80 to 90 percent of the time. They eat snacks in between meals when they feel hungry. They don’t skip breakfast! I can’t stress this enough. A breakfast of about 400 to 500 calories will jumpstart your metabolism, and you won’t be grabbing the donuts when you get to the office because you are already sated. A great breakfast is a balance of protein, fats and carbs and will provide you with all the energy you need to get on with the day.
If you are stuck in a food rut try one or two new foods each week. I hated Brussels sprouts as a kid, and now they are one of my favorite foods. In full disclosure, however, I might have to pass on boiled okra, something my mother made. But if you cooked it any other way I would be willing to try it!