You can either be stressed, or digest. Your body can’t do both. And how you eat, how you are being and feeling while you eat, and how aware you are of your body are little known secrets to finding the magic metabolism spot for gut health and weight loss.
It took me a half my life to finally get a handle on what being full means. I had always equated being full with being stuffed to the gills. It meant being uncomfortably numb, bloated, and heavy. And tired. It wasn’t until my own first detox at twenty-five that I realized that the sensations I used to describe “full” were extreme ones and that there is a subtler, healthier, more loving way to know when you’ve had enough food.
The first secret of Metabolism Magic is to imagine a hungry-full scale, with 0 being empty, 5 being neutral, and 10 being bursting. If we wait until we are at “0” to eat, we’re so ravenous that we have no sense of control or moderation or discretion. This is a state I referred to as “hangry,” because if we get this depleted, we are often on the verge of an angry meltdown (both physically and mentally). When we fall toward zero on the hungry-full spectrum then we’ll eat ANYTHING we can get our hands on at that point and this is when we speed to the drive-thru or grab the cookies hiding in the back of the freezer. So we want to avoid “0” at all costs. I find it takes most of my clients a bit of time and experimentation to really get a handle on what “5” or being “hunger neutral” feels like. When most people detox, what they find is that their own sense of scale had, until then, been pretty out of whack.
Being free from reacting to food and no longer being prisoner to our habits and cravings allows us to tune into ourselves and our appetites in really intimate, empowering ways, and once you really land on this neutral mid-point between truly starving and over- stuffed, you find that you can relax around food in profound ways—maybe for the first time in your life. From this easy, grounded place, you can make much more mindful choices about how, when, and what you will eat.
The goal with any meal is to bring us just up past 5 to a really pleasant 6 or 7, and when we hit 8, we pretty much know it’s time to stop. Getting into 9 or 10 territory means certain misery that may manifest in several undesirable ways including cramping, bloating, nausea, fatigue, brain fuzziness and weight gain.
The second secret to Metabolic Magic is to chew well. No, you don’t have to count the number of bites, but aim to chew your food until it’s mostly liquid. Did you know that digestion starts in your mouth with chewing and saliva? Without the enzyme kick-start from your mouth, food won’t digest as easily or quickly, and can lead to fermentation in your gut, yeast overgrowth and weight gain. No bueno. I even chew my Green & Clean Protein smoothies to make sure my saliva is mixed in well enough. Gross, but true. And my tummy is way happier, and trimmer, for it.
The final secret to Metabolic Magic is to breathe while eating. Yes, slow down and breathe. Allow yourself to put down your fork after each bite, and breathe while chewing. Oxygen and breathing provide a metabolic magnifier that aids digestion and relaxes your body, allowing your gut to work more efficiently. Try to be the last one finished eating your meal, or add five minutes to your meal. This will help you recognize your satiety faster as well.
Finding balance with eating requires an awareness practice. These three secrets will help you immediately understand and feel your body in a new way. You’ll find that eating actually soothes and energizes, rather than stresses. You’ll feel enlivened, not weighted down, by food. Striving for this smooth, fluid, easy relationship with food is the goal. Because food should be pleasure. Always.