Demetra Eftimiades (Deme), is an online fitness coach here in the Washington D.C. area. She has also been featured for transforming her body changing 50 lbs of fat into muscle. Deme has been featured in Washingtonian, Bodybuilding.com, MSN.com, POPSUGAR, and many more.
As you all know, I work closely with coaching clients on how to use an approach called Intuitive Eating. Intuitive Eating is just like how it was before...when you were just a child. Before you ever knew what dieting was.
It was simple back then: eat when you’re hungry and finish when you’re full. It seems like a simple method, but can be quite hard to get used to especially if you are one who has tracked macros and restricted for years. Not only that, but making you feel guilty after being told your entire life that there are good and bad foods that you should and shouldn’t eat.
Our bodies know when to alert you when you are hungry, bloated, overfed etc. Some days you might crave sweet potato fries with a burger, while another you might want a bowl from Cava. If we want something or crave something then deprive ourselves of it, we are more than likely setting ourselves up for overdoing it later on. I tend to see this most in people who take out carbohydrates out of breakfast and/or lunch. Depriving themselves during the day, just to binge and eat everything in sight later on in the evening because at this point they are starving!
There needs to be a balance and mindful eating is the key ingredient to intuitive eating. Being mindful of the foods you chose to eat beforehand and during not only assures you that you’re getting that food when you need it, but also that you will be less likely to use it as something to lean on emotionally.
Why might you ask? Why should I eat mindfully? If you mindlessly grab handful after handful of potato chips while watching a movie and then reach back into the bag and wonder where all the chips have gone. I will tell you exactly where they went. You’ve just consumed four Hundred calories of mindless and unsatisfied eating! When you are aware of the food you are about to eat, take a second to think: “Do I really want this food right now? Or am I just using it because I am bored? Am I using it as a distraction from what I should be doing in this moment?”
We often associate emotional eating with feelings we don’t want to face. For example, “I’m stressed because I have projects to catch up on, I haven’t gotten any good sleep, and I haven’t taken a break.” What will fix the problem other than using food? Is it going for a walk? Or maybe reading a few pages from your favorite book? Whatever it may be, don’t feel bad about taking a break.
Recently I went to one of my favorite restaurants called Sonoma in D.C. capitol hill to work on designing new client programs! I was excited to have the grilled chicken club and when it got to my table, I got straight to it! I ate and worked simultaneously. I am great at multitasking but next thing I knew, it was gone! And guess what? An hour later I was hungry again (That sandwich was so good I just might have gone back for round two)! This is exactly what causes people to overeat. Not paying attention to what we are eating and when we are eating. So what did I do to change this? I decided that before getting my work done, I would enjoy my food with no distractions. I didn’t inhale my food anymore and I really slowed down to enjoy the juiciness of my chicken!
I’ve typed up some of my favorite ways to keep more mindful and present during my meals! I apply these every now and then because not every day is meant to be perfect.
Method 1) No distractions. Electronics go off. No multitasking at mealtime.
Method 2) Actually look at what you are eating. Is it a snack? Dessert? A piece of fruit? Just acknowledge!
Method 3) Get a whiff of your food! I’m sure if smells wonderful so why not enjoy that!
Method 4) Don’t inalte the food, take time to taste the food. Enjoy it!
Method 5) As your meal gets smaller and smaller you will notice your stomach feeling more full. Drink water with your meal and recognize when you start to feel satisfied, not stuffed.
Method 6) When you do start to feel satisfied, now might be a good time to put down the fork.
Want to learn more on how you too, can become more in touch with how to fuel your body properly? I’d love to work with you!
Check out my website www.demefit.com
Demetra is not a physician or registered dietitian. The content of this article should not be taken as medical advice. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health problem – nor is it intended to replace the advice of a physician. Always consult your physician or qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health.
My name is Demetra Eftimiades but I go by Demi!