Portion Control and our Emotions

So this was my lunch today (I will just say that it was awesome!!!!), its funny looking at this bowl because it’s a fairly modest portion I would say.

When I was still playing, training twice a day most days and working full-time I found that my body needed a lot of food. But it was also a lot to do with habit, I knew that I needed to eat because it was fuel, and this was how I saw it, fuelling my body.

What is interesting is that since retiring and I guess being a bit more ‘normal’ with my weekly demands, it has been a new phase where I have almost had to retrain my mind, become even more in tune with my body to establish what relationship I have with food, and what I actually need.

The temptation for people not as active as they were in the past would be to cut back and limit intake. Or, find that not being in a ‘regime’ presents an opportunity to just binge and eat everything, because you can.

What I have noticed is that my appetite is slightly smaller, but my body is naturally quite lean (something I actually don’t like) and so eating small amounts or really ‘clean’ causes me to lose weight and look ill. But that doesn’t mean I should just keep eating either! There’s a balance, a need to listen to my body and what it needs.

I can get caught in a habit of eating certain foods and quantities – probably no different to others. (You may also notice this with exercises you do in the gym, songs you like to play etc) but, it varies. No day is the same. Sometimes I crave a lot more than other days, and for me I need to be aware that if I have a low/no appetite I need to think of food as fuel and ensure I eat what my body requires. But at the same time, if I am really hungry, say I have been very busy or under stress, that I need to listen to my body and eat MORE.

I have always said that weighing and measuring foods can be a little dangerous in that it could promote or encourage disordered/obsessions behaviours with eating. But, we do need to know our bodies very well and adjust according.

Sometimes I can feel myself feeling guilty for eating more than usual, but actually if I am that hungry or been really busy, it is what is needed.
There shouldn’t be any bad feeling for that. The only time we need to be mindful is when we mistake hunger for boredom, dehydration or just greed. But lets face it, if something is reallllllllllly nice, why shouldn’t you have a couple extra. So long as is in moderation, who cares.

I guess what I am saying here is that, our emotions shouldn’t dictate portions, nor should comparing what we eat with other people. Listening to our own body is the most important part of what we do and personally I think the best ‘measure’ of what and how much we eat.

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