If it tastes so good, why are you eating it so fast??
Today, I want to talk about this very simple question… okay, I know it’s actually quite complicated.
But listen…if the food you’re eating tastes so good; so good in fact that you don’t even trust yourself with it, and if it’s so delicious….
Why are you eating it so fast?
Why are you racing through it?
Actually, there are a lot of reasons why we might find something delicious and still want to eat it really fast. Below are the six reasons I see most often.
# 1 Fear or Stress-Based response.
If you’re eating fast, it’s because your body perceives itself in some sort of stress response. That can mean either an external stressor or an internal stressor. So, as you’re eating, this may be happening below the surface of your awareness. You may have this deep fear of not having enough. So it’s this scarcity fear, that is showing up for you.
Either you’re not going to let yourself have enough or that you perceive somebody else will put restrictions on you.
If you have these two beliefs: one that this food is so good, you can’t even be around it…and… at the same time, you also are fearful that somebody will take it away.
Wouldn’t that make sense then that you’re going to eat that food really, really fast? Because inherently, there’s a fear lingering under the surface. You can’t really fully drop into your body and have that rest and digest process, which is an important factor in eating satisfaction. If you’re in your head thinking,” Well, somebody’s going to take this away from me” or, “The diet is starting next week”, you may not sit there and savor it. You’re going to do it almost with a sense of fear and a need to rush.
#2 — Guilt/Shame
The second one is another really base emotion. It sits deep in terms of our relationship with food. And that often has to do with feelings of guilt, or the belief that you shouldn’t be eating this.
So even though on some level it’s giving you pleasure, you might be also thinking “This is so unhealthy I shouldn’t be eating this.”
We’re fearful for our health, we’re fearful of judgment, we’re fearful of repeating old habits and behaviors that we have had around food. Eating it fast is a quick way to get past those really nuanced and difficult, conflicted feelings such as, “This tastes so good, but I feel like a bad person for eating it”.
#3 — Fear of getting caught.
If you eat something really fast, nobody can catch you in the act, right?
(refer to #2 about guilt/shame)
Doing this can really prevent our brain from even recognizing that it’s perceiving pleasure. It can prevent you from recognizing intuitively when you’ve had enough of that food or flavor. When you can slow down and savor, even in spite of difficult emotions, then you’re putting yourself in a position where the food can taste good, but also to know exactly when is enough.
So it’s shifting from fear and worry into curiosity and pleasure.
# 4 — Eating while Distracted
Example: Eating when you’re driving. Admit it, we’ve all done it.
But it’s a recipe for mindless and fast eating.
How can you possibly savor that sandwich when you’re navigating the GPS, driving, and trying to contain your road rage all at the same time?
Even if you’re eating in a crowded restaurant and there’s a lot of stimulation and a lot of noise around you, that’s going to cause distraction as well.
I worked with one client who grew up in a very chaotic household. The kitchen was a very small galley kitchen, and there were five kids and everybody was already inherently uncomfortable in the space and it was always very loud.
People were always talking over each other, and lots of opinions flying about every night.
And if she didn’t eat fast, if she didn’t grab her food and eat quickly,
well, somebody else would snatch it up. This again can elicit past fears of not having enough.
If things felt chaotic at home, if your family sat and ate dinner in front of the TV, if there wasn’t encouragement to slow down and to eat mindfully, then you could have been conditioned at a very young age to think food is something to just get over, and move onto the next thing.
#5 — You love the food but it also makes you feel sick.
Your favorite food may be pizza but you also know whenever you eat it, you’ll be looking forward to some long bouts of indigestion or reflux or other physical manifestations. It’s hard to reconcile that a food that tastes so good to you can make you feel so awful. You may even wonder what it says about you that you eat it anyway in spite of this. Eating it quickly is a coping mechanism, representing the conflicting and confusing emotions this brings up for you.
Let me ask you? If the food tastes so good, why are you eating it so fast? Post in the comments below I sincerely want to know.