A huge amount of interest in mindful eating has begun trending in recent research, showing that it can assist with binge eating disorders, weight management and unhealthy food choices – it can even be useful for you in maintaining a normal weight. Being a mindful eater means that you’re in the present moment while eating a meal. It also means that you’re aware of your hunger and satiety cues and that you use the sense of taste, texture and smell to really be in the moment. By slowing down and enjoying the food in front of you, it can significantly decrease your likelihood of overeating. Being mindful can bring your attention to the simplicity of ‘just eating’ and help to show gratitude toward the food you eat. Here are 5 Ways to be a Mindful Eater!
1. Eat without distraction
Often mindless eating habits stem from eating while trying to multitask. Whether it be eating while on the phone, eating while at the desk working, eating while trying to get the kids ready for school, or while watching TV. This takes you away from putting your full attention into simply eating and can lead to overeating or eating without the presence of hunger. Next time you notice this, try to remove all distractions and just eat; see if you notice a difference in how you feel.
2. Don’t eat from a bag or box
If you grab a box of cereal, a supersized bag of crisps or a jumbo-sized chocolate bar and start eating from that, you’re more likely to lose control and not notice how much you are actually eating. By measuring out how much of the bag or box equates to one portion will lead you to being more mindful and therefore, decrease overeating and weight gain.
3. ‘Reload’ only after your mouth is empty
Slow down, chew slowly, be aware of how much food you are putting into your mouth.
4. Don’t skip meals
Try to eat three balanced meals a day and two snacks. The practice of being a mindful eater will keep you going throughout the day and also help you avoid overeating and bingeing.
5. Keep a mindful eating journal
One helpful idea is to keep a food journal to understand your thoughts, feelings and emotions around meal and snack times. This can clarify your own eating behaviour and interrupt a mindless eating cycle. Create a simple table and write down what you eat and how you felt before and after eating the meal/snack. Create four columns: ‘Emotion I felt before eating’, ‘What I ate’, ‘Was I hungry?’ and ‘Emotion I felt after eating’. Doing this will help you to connect your emotions and behaviours and bring any unhelpful eating habits into clearer focus.
Many people, perhaps you’re one of them, live in a fast-paced environment where you believe that there are never enough hours in the day and never enough time to do everything you need to do. You may spend your life rushing around, mindlessly grabbing ready meals or fast food and never considering that time and care for yourself is just as important as working, contributing to and looking after others. Create some time and space to sit down and eat a meal, even if this means getting up slightly earlier or managing your time a little better by scheduling in when you are going to take a break to eat. It won’t just be your body that will thank you for it in the long term, your entire being, being better off will also perform whatever you’re doing far better as well! Hopefully, the tips given in this article will encourage you. What has worked for you regarding being more mindful when eating? Let us know below, join in the conversation on Facebook follow us on Twitter and Instagram. (Check out these other motivational-mindset articles too, designed to help you GET and KEEP YOUR Fit ON!)