When I was a teacher-in-training, my mentor had a big sign outside her door that said: “Stop and Think”. The sign served as a reminder for the children to slow down, come in quietly, and be ready to work. When students would enter the room with wild loud energy, my mentor would refer to the sign. The students knew this meant they needed to step out and re-enter the classroom in a calmer manner.
The “Stop and Think” technique is valuable in so many areas of life. It serves as a tool to slow down and ask ourselves if what we are about to do is in alignment with the results we’re seeking.
I find the “Stop and Think” technique especially useful when it comes to what and how we eat. It can be used before, during and after we eat.
The next time you find yourself staring longingly into your fridge hoping for some delicious food to magically appear, stop and think before you eat:
▪ Ask yourself are you physically or emotionally hungry?
▪ If you are emotionally hungry- take this time to ask yourself what do you really need. Perhaps a walk, a talk with a friend or some deep breaths would serve you better than food.
▪ If you are hungry, take the time to think about what would truly satisfy you.
▪ Do you want something hot or cold? Spicy or mild? Crunchy or creamy?
▪ How much food do you need to in order to feel good?
Stop and Think while you eat:
▪ Check in with yourself between bites. Are you enjoying the food? Most people eat so fast they miss the taste of their food. This leads to overeating.
▪ Are you feeling satiated? If yes, this gives you a chance to stop before you feel stuffed. Ask yourself this several times during the meal and you will start to understand how much food your body really needs. For many of us, this is far less than what we are used to eating.
After you eat:
▪ Did the food give you good energy?
▪ Are you still hungry, stuffed or satiated?
▪ Is it something you would want to eat again?
All of these questions help you learn more about what foods work well for your body and how much you need to eat in order to feel great.
Stopping and Thinking is a transformational life skill. Mastering this skill can take you from a lifetime of yo-yo dieting to finally reaching and maintaining your ideal weight without struggle. Try it out and let me know how it goes.