Nutrition Principle #6 - Slow, Mindful Eating
One last principle that I believe is SO simple, but not necessarily easy is "Slow, Mindful Eating." I believe this principle is the most important one and can be life-changing if you do it rightly.
Here is my last Nutritional Blogpost! I have spent a good bit of time these past 2 months pouring into these blogposts the nutritional principles that I believe are important to figure out and get these right:
Each person benefits greatly to figure out "their personal formulas" for water, protein, produce, and carbs/fats ratios. Then, I believe that eating the vast majority of the time (remember--significantly more than 51%) based on "your personal formula" will bring great health while leaving room for flexibility, life celebrations, and a healthy lifestyle, free from obsessing!
These foundational principles are likely things you have heard before because there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9). BUT, I truly hope and pray that as you read through the principles you dropped the pin on some very important areas that truly affect your health, affect your fat loss, affect your weigh loss, and affect your body composition. Even more importantly, the principles I shared affect your hormones, how you feel, the energy levels you have, and your deep, lasting health. Read through the "WHY's" again in those blogposts to get an understanding on "why" it is SO great to eat and drink healthy!
The last principle I believe is important is Slow, Mindful Eating. I believe this principle is the most important one and can be life-changing if you do it rightly. It is simple, yes, but it is not necessarily easy.
Slow, Mindful Eating is exactly what it sounds like: it is slowing down and thinking about what you are eating, your hunger cues, satiation, and "just being aware."
WHY? and HOW?
Why? Life is busy, and we live life so quickly, we hardly know what we are doing.
How? Slow down, take a deep breath, and think about what we are eating.
Life is busy, our cultures are generally rushed and working hard to get things done and get them done quickly. Often when we are storming through, we get perfunctory and just do things. We forget why we are doing them, and if what we are doing is a hard thing or a new thing (healthy eating for example), when we start forgetting why we are doing it, we will stop wanting to do it. When it gets hard or uncomfortable (or not as yummy), we will just not like it and be done. It may even become drudgery or detestable (strong words, I know, but it has likely happened to you before). So, slow down. Think. Remember your why. Listen to your body's cues, especially the hunger and satiation cues.
Why? God wants to be preeminent in all areas of our life. As believers walking in obedience to the Lord, we should obey Him also in how we eat and fuel the body He has made!
How? Slow down, pray about what we eat, and pray before we eat.
The Lord longs to be preeminent in all areas of our lives--including the physical areas of fitness and nutrition (Colossians 1:18). I am passionate about seeking to make God preeminent in all areas of my life, and I want to encourage you to do the same. One of the ways we make God preeminent in our nutrition is to pray about what we are eating. We must give Him Lordship in this area. If we truly can say that we are eating for the glory of God, we will do well. Pray before we eat.
Slow down and pray and ask the Lord, "Thank you Lord for this body, and thank you for good food and provision. Would you, Lord, the Creator and Sustainer of my life and body, help me to know and understand my hunger cues? Would you help me to have self-discipline, a fruit of the Holy Spirit? Would you please show me ways I am eating that are not best and show me ways that are better?" Pray Psalm 139:23-24, "Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!"
Do not withhold His Lordship in this area or hold on tightly to this physical area of nutrition/what we eat keeping it to be selfish, prideful, and full of self-indulging ways. So, slowing down, being mindful (thinking about), and praying before we eat will help us make better choices, be aware of our true hunger, and eat in a way that is obedient to Christ.
DON'T worry too much about HOW...just slow down, think, and pray!
Now, please make sure you do not hear me saying this, "if you just slow down and think and pray, all the things will all workout right." I am NOT making that promise! It is imperative that as you get mindful and slow you also drop the pin and learn so that your mind is thinking rightly about food! So, if you haven't taken the time to learn about those other 5 principles, do take that time and learn.
I have given you some good formulas, tools, and links in those posts to help you figure those things out. There is a time to work hard, assess, learn, and make appropriate changes. Then there is a time to think on what you know, PRAY, and walk in obedience. Obedience in nutrition will look differently for everyone. Always make sure you are not looking to the right or left (comparing with others around you or comparing to others on social media), but you have assessed your life, health, needs, and prayed to the Lord.
So...are you saying to slow down and get mindful and then learn OR learn and then get mindful? YES! There is NO wrong order!!! It may be most beneficial for you to learn first! OR, maybe if you slow down and get mindful the Lord will show you the things you need to learn and then you get after it! Here is what I am communicating in this post: slowing down and thinking and praying before you eat will bring about changes you cannot imagine or predict. If this is the only nutritional principle you follow, I think this is the BEST one and the most important one! And, if you are a believer, this has the potential to change your relationship with food and the Lordship of Christ in this area.
If the other 5 nutritional principles overwhelmed you...just keep this one! If the world of "diet culture" (eat this, don't eat that) is overwhelming...just slow down, be mindful, and pray! Precision Nutrition has done great research and even says that "eating mindfully and slowly can actually be more important than when you eat, what you eat, and getting anything else perfect." Read that post and even consider taking their 30 day challenge and see what happens! Get curious and try it! Precision Nutrition is rated #1 in Nutritional Certification, and they say, "Slow eating may be the single most powerful habit for driving major transformation." They also say that, "Slow eating is like the secret weight-loss weapon everyone has access to, but nobody knows about."
I will add that praying and asking the Lord to get this right is going to be one of the most powerful tools you have as a follower of Christ. The Lord created you. He knows your tendencies. He knows your habits and patterns that you hide from everyone else (including a personal trainer or you may even hide them from yourself--BLINDSPOTS). He knows the thoughts you have regarding food. He knows you, and He knows the way that is right for you. Pray and ask Him! Let me know, I will also pray for you. I pray for my members daily--I would love to journey with you!
Here is what I am communicating in this post: slowing down and thinking and praying before you eat will bring about changes you cannot imagine or predict.
HOW TO DO IT BETTER?
Slow down and get mindful now. This might be the only thing you do, and that is enough! Even if you have not read any of my other posts (which I do want you to read eventually!!!), just start right now by slowing down when you are eating. Get mindful about what you are putting into your body and do it slowly. Many of you pray before you are eating--take the time to pray and ask the Lord to teach you how to eat well for your health, your service, and for His glory. This one change will be way more impactful than you can imagine! This is also a great place to start in assessing where you are right now. Drop the pin!
Slow down and get mindful about just one nutritional principle (water, protein, produce, or carbs/fats)--the one that you know you need to learn more about. Learn, and as you learn, with each meal or snack, work on just that one nutritional principle--being mindful about that one thing. Once you have that principle down (it will likely take a few weeks or up to a month or two), work on another one. Slow, steady, and long-term health and habits are not made overnight, but over a long time.
Be mindful about the things you are learning. As you work to make changes in how you eat, think about it. Pray about it. Do not just "pull up the boot straps and get after some discipline." Make sure those changes are obedient to the Lord and good and right for you. Think and know why you are doing something. Remember your why! Pray and ask for the Lord's help. Slow down and be mindful!