Do you ever find yourself caught in the dangerous cycle of snacking? Snacking while you make your meal. Scarfing down your actual meal, then going up and snacking more, even though your stomach is crying and your tongue is ordering you to eat faster so the guilt won’t catch up with you. Do you ever lose the enjoyment of the actual meal because you’re focused on getting more of the meal, through any means necessary?
This is not a healthy nor happy way to experience food. But it doesn’t have to be this way. No matter how trapped or hopeless you feel right now, there is always a way to turn it around. And you can get on the right path by making one small change, implementing one golden tactic called “Restaurant-Plating It”
-When you pretend you are in a restaurant, where the kitchen is not open and available for you to snack on at your liberty. It means you get one delicious plate, you sit down with it, and you savour it for as long as possible.
-Since you only have one plate, make sure you load it up with everything you want. Don’t be afraid to put a little bit of extra so you won’t feel deprived and won’t be as tempted to go back for more.
-This plate may or may not include dessert. If dessert is available at the beginning of the meal, it may be wisest to add to your plate, since it can be dangerous going back for dessert, when it’s so easy to add everything else to your plate.
-Make sure you have a hot drink with you to help you Restaurant-Plate successfully. That way, when you’ve cleaned your plate and are tempted to go back for seconds, you can sit and sip on a deliciously warm coffee or tea. This will help to settle your stomach, to put you into a relaxing frame of mind, and to help you realize that yes, you are satisfied and happy and light, that you feel triumphant and happy, and that you don’t need any more.
The Advantages of Restaurant-Plating It:
1. It Allows Enjoyment
-Putting your entire meal on one plate works for several reasons. Firstly, it releases you of all guilt for what you are going to eat. Sometimes when we snack, we don’t want to know how much we’re eating, because we know we shouldn’t be consuming that much, so we eat faster, and the guilt becomes greater, which further worsens the cycle. However, when you put everything you want on your plate, you are allowing yourself to appreciate and enjoy this food without guilt because you have gifted it to yourself, you have not stolen it despite your better judgement. This food is no longer a negative entity, it is something special and beautiful for you to enjoy.
2. It Allows Relaxation
-Restaurant-Plating It also allows you to slow down and relax as you eat your food. Sometimes, when you snack on food or repeatedly go back for more, you’re never content with the food on your plate, because your mind is too consumed with your next plate, figuring out what more you can fit into your stomach before it protests. This can be a very stressful situation for both your stomach and your mind. Stress produces cortizol, the stress hormone, which makes you more hungry and less satisfied, which further goads you to get more food than you really need, and to eat it quickly without enjoyment.
The most important factor in order to “Restaurant-Plate It” successfully is to respect the plate. This means deciding not go back for more, even though all you have to do is get up and step across the kitchen to get another helping. It means taking the restaurant plate seriously, eating slowly and with enjoyment and then finishing. Make sure to have your coffee or tea with you, and then, when you’re done that, it may be helpful to go brush your teeth before returning near the food to clean up.
So try it. Pretend you’re in a fancy restaurant, and give your food (and your stomach) the respect they deserve. Allow yourself to find enjoyment and relaxation in your meals. And then reap the rewards.