There is a value to every thing and every behavior. When eating, the food has a caloric value, ie, one order of Super Sized McDonald's Fries equals 610 calories while 3 cups of salad greens equals just 30 calories. There is also a nutritional value, 3 cups of salad greens contains numerous vitamins, minerals, and provides 3 grams of fiber. The fries offer little, other than lots of calories.
In addition to the food, there is a value to the environment in which we eat. Picture sitting down at a beautiful table filled with colorful, aromatic food, with loved ones sitting around the table. Now picture eating on the run, perhaps in a car, from a paper wrapper, in traffic. There is a higher value obviously on the first scenario as far as feeling a greater sense of pleasure and nurturing.
Lastly, there is a value assigned to the eater. What are we bringing to the table? Are we seeking food because we are hungry for calories, for nutrients, or for comfort, for stress reduction, out of habit? Are we coming to the table as a person feeling valuable and worthy of life's best or are we feeling less than deserving, low, depressed, anxious, unfulfilled? Also, do we bring values and beliefs such as 'there's not enough,' 'don't waste,' or 'getting something for nothing?' Which scenario would you guess leads to overeating and/or consumption of low-quality food? (more on this in a later post)
In his book, Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior, David Hawkins assigns values to our feeling states as well as food, music, and other tangibles. He explains that the higher the value, the more power we experience. By eating high nutrient, whole foods, we derive more power from the food. By eating in a nurturing environment, we also experience more power. And of equal importance, eating in a state of self-acceptance, gratitude, and love increases our power even more.
When we eat a meal filled with high-value elements, we feel "full" with much less food. At your next meal, try the above suggestions and see how much more energy you feel with much less food. Healthy eating is not about willpower but rather about feeling full and satisfied when we do eat. We must change more than our diet.