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Eat Less, Naturally

by Gina Pickersgill(more info)

listed in nutrition, originally published in issue 172 - July 2010

"When people ate together, they were supposed to pay attention to the other diners"
Flame Wu

What is it about food that makes us enjoy what we eat? What is it that shows us how to gauge how much is enough? In this article we will look at what we need to do to both enjoy our food and eat less of it naturally.

In many cultures, food is a way of sharing community time together and focuses on what rituals are working to cement how we communicate. A recent workshop I attended on magic and rituals pointed out the importance of eating together and how we create important bonds with others during the eating process.

The process of eating is naturally tied to how we are focused on what we need to survive and how, when we are in the process of eating, we are making energy for our bodies. We all know that energy is created via the assimilation of food and how it gets used in the process of maintaining our metabolism and other biological functions of importance. So what is it that makes eating in communities a favourable activity when all we need to do is eat for energy?

An Aboriginal family prepare food together in a culture where the men prepare the soil and the women plant and gather the harvest. This division of labour demonstrates the role of community values in how the preparation and sharing of food is a central theme to their activities.
An Aboriginal family prepare food together in a culture where the men prepare the soil and the women
plant and gather the harvest. This division of labour demonstrates the role of
community values in how the preparation and sharing of food is a central theme to their activities.

Creating communities via the food we eat has long been known to exist. From Aborigines to refined cultures, food has been the mainstay of its essence. Chinese, Indian, Buddhist, and Monks all represent certain cultural food rituals that have developed to form part of their identity. An important point to note is that when offering food to other cultures we are essentially inviting them to experience part of our world. Enjoyment of that food is naturally seen as a compliment to the inviting culture and makes them feel we are accepting them as a whole.

The way forward in accepting ourselves has become one of noticing how we can focus on what we need. When fulfilling our needs we become happier and healthier and more inclined to avoid over-eating. When we feel balanced inside, we take what we need and leave the rest. 'The rest' being the amount we would have eaten had we not been in the space of being balanced. So what is it we can do to stay balanced in ourselves so that we don't go over-board in trying to assuage our emotional needs with food?

As I stated earlier in a previous article, we can learn to integrate our emotions using specific techniques designed to help you become more balanced. But what if we already know how to do that and still find leaving what we don't need a struggle? The answer to this issue is in the mental programming that has been entrained and has become a natural response to eating and food. Not everybody eats through emotional issues; they just find gauging what to eat a problem because they don't know how to reprogram their thinking around food. It is this we are going to tackle and find answers to in the next section of this article.

So what is it that determines how we program our eating habits in response to food? Western Buddhist Jayasiddhi writes how he has developed his own method of using ritual to eat less, naturally using chants.

"To the Buddha for refuge I go
To the Dharma for refuge I go
To the Sangha for refuge I go

May I take this wholesome food
And turn it into wholesome action,
Practicing the Dharma for the benefit of all"

It trains the muscles of your mind when focusing on certain areas of knowledge. The reason we know is because we have made certain ways of being available to ourselves that help us achieve what we want. States of being are the main idea for how we make things become a reality. Programming your mind is therefore a matter of being who you want to be.

Lets take the first idea that being a certain way is what you want. For example, if you want to be someone who only eats what they need and nothing more, what would you have to do to achieve it? This is the question that gets you the answers you want. In asking that question you are generating ideas that will bring you the results you want. So learning how to ask good questions is the first thing that needs to be added to your tool box.

The second thing that we need to consider is what action will get you the results. Once you have the ideas they have to be put in some form of package that will get them out in the open so-to-speak. I have created a program that has touched on this idea and come up with the following three steps:

  • Build a resource state – A resource state is any way of being that helps you to perform a particular task. What three states can you think of that will give the best resource state for being eager to learn, for example;
  • Use the resource state in the desired context – Applying the resource state to situations where you need to make the behaviour a natural response. Where and when would this way of being be useful to have?
  • Build a strong belief that you have actually used the state in the right context consistently – This is the glue that pulls the other pieces together in that you will need to find something to convince yourself that you can at least follow your own instructions. Albert Bandura, a prominent behavioural psychologist, noted that people who had developed a strong sense of belief were more likely to succeed in their outcomes. So building a strong belief through collecting evidence that your conscious mind is happy with will be the motivation you need to keep going until you see the results you want.

There is a fourth and very important step, but you will need to visit my Eat Less, Naturally sign up page to watch an introductory video to find out how to become an excellent programmer in how to Eat Less, Naturally. To do that visit   I look forward to teaching you how there.


Ancient Chinese Eating Rituals –  
Eating Rituals in Ayurvedic Philosophy  
A Meal Ritual – by a Western Buddhist  

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About Gina Pickersgill

Gina is a transpersonal coach who brings multimedia to her practice.  She created an authoritative eMagazine on NLP and Healing, based on The Healing Pool, a virtual sanctuary she owns in Second Life as her avatar 'Nina Lancaster'.

An NLP Master Practitioner and Certified Society of NLP Trainer, Gina assisted co-creator of NLP Richard Bandler on their London NLP, seminars from 2001-5.  Originally training as a fitness instructor specializing in fitness for the fuller figure, she gained a degree in Sports and Exercise Studies in 1999 and introduced the concept of Lifestyle Coaching to Virgin Active Health Clubs. She is a published holistic article writer and regular contributor to NLPLife Training Newsletter. Gina is now focused on working towards a new paradigm of delivering NLP training to a virtual world audience via various forms of multimedia platforms in partnership with sponsors and organizations.

Gina is passionate about raising awareness of virtual worlds, their potential for training change and personal development, where they will have the best benefit to a global audience, as well as to those who need more traditional methods of learning such as books, CDs, audio and one to one coaching.

Gina may be contacted via Tel: 07932 958 262;  Havening Techniques

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