“…the meal plan looks simple and doable but how much of these foods do you want me to eat in each meal?” This is the most common question that I am asked by my clients. My response? Here it is…
The Gut Instinct
The amount of food we consume should only and ONLY be dictated by our stomach and not by any nutritionist (or trainer/ coach/ doctor/ mother/ any health professional) and definitely not by the latest food fads or diet trends. How do we listen to our stomach? By paying attention.
Our stomach is as smart (if not more) as our brain. Giulia Enders in her book “The Gut – Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Under-Rated Organ” writes that the gut’s nerve network is called “The Gut Brain” as it is just as large and as complex as grey matter. Our gut is responsible in no small measure for how we are feeling. Science is discovering this only now while as humans we have known this since time immemorial.
Unfortunately, we have lost track of how much to eat because of the busy lifestyle, our work schedule and because of having followed so many diets and dictates that we no longer want to listen to our gut but constantly need someone to tell us how much to eat.
Hunger, Satiety & Guilt
Eating is the most basic act. A baby doesn’t have to be taught how to eat or even how much to eat. Ever seen a kid overfeed on their mother’s milk? No, right !? We eat by instinct, we eat for pleasure, we eat in happiness and we eat to celebrate. The problem begins when we start to eat in guilt. Remember the last time you had a cake or pizza or your favourite laddoos without being overcome by a feeling of guilt, right after? It is rarely these foods that make us gain the extra fat, guilt is the real culprit.
Ghrelin and leptin are two hormones that regulate our hunger and satiety. But they only function if we are eating mindfully. Now how do we do this? By slowing down. In this rapidly evolving and transforming world, slowing down is probably the most difficult thing to do. But try, you must!
Firstly, Serve slow – don’t serve all that you want to eat at once. Serve a little less or half of what you want to eat.
Secondly, Eat slow – chew your food well. Get the juices in your mouth to work like they should and don’t just swallow your food mindlessly.
Lastly, Finish slow – don’t be in a hurry to get up and get going. Don’t be in a hurry to eat the next bite. Prepare the next morsel only once you have finished your mouthful.
Once done, recheck if you are still hungry and want some more rice or roti & repeat. It will be easier to slow down if you are sitting to eat without any distractions. Which means NO Instagram, NO work material, NO Netflix, while eating. If we simply listen to our stomach and its signals and respond by eating accordingly, over-eating or under-eating will no longer be a concern. You will lose fat faster while still eating your gulab jamun & pizza, guilt free !!
Leave a Reply