Mindful Eating 101

September 22, 2020

If you’ve ever talked nutrition with me, you’ve probably heard me espousing the merits of “mindful eating”.  I believe that taking the time to truly appreciate and reflect upon what you are putting into your body is important and it’s an exercise everyone should at least try. The more consistently mindful one is about eating, the better one’s relationship with food can be.

How, then, do we practice “mindful eating”?  For starters, slow down.  So many of us are in such a rush to get on to the next thing on our to-do list (myself included!), that we don’t take the proper amount of time to recognize what we’re eating.  When you slow down and actually look at, feel, taste and savor your food, you experience it in a different way. Your body and mind connect and help you to become fully aware of how the food makes you feel and how it affects your body. Whether you’re someone who has struggled with your weight, has dealt with unhealthy relationships with food, or simply just wants to become more centered, practicing mindful eating can certainly help.  There are myriad workshops and seminars that teach various techniques for engaging in mindfulness during mealtimes, but just getting started today in your own house is also high effective.  Pick one meal to start with and try the following:

  • Clear away distractions – no phone or tv during eating
  • Sit at a table with your food on a plate in front of you
  • Before you begin eating, take a moment to appreciate the food – look at the colors and textures, smell the aromas, and take a deep breath
  • When you begin to eat, take a small bite and chew thoroughly. Appreciate how the food is making you feel and decide if you want more.
  • Eat SLOWLY – it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to signal your brain that it is full, so if you scarf down a giant meal in 5 minutes, there isn’t even enough time to realize you’re full before you’ve possibly already eaten too much
  • Focus on how eating each part of the meal is making you feel
  • While you’re eating, ask yourself whether you’re truly hungry and if the choices you made for your plate are healthy ones
  • Listen to your body and stop eating when you feel satisfied. Do not force yourself to finish everything on your plate if you are already full.    

Challenge yourself to follow these few strategies at one meal per day this week. As they become more natural, try to incorporate them into each meal and you will quickly realize how different an experience eating can be. Being mindful about what you’re eating can help to build a healthy relationship with food which will ultimately lead you on the pathway to a healthier you!

For more tips and strategies to employ mindful eating, consider making an appointment with me today!

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