Why do you eat? Is it because you are stressed? Are you upset? Are you bored? Are you celebrating something? Or, are you physically hungry? When you think about it, how often are you actually physically hungry when you eat? Are you able to stop when you are satisfied?
Mindful eating is a great tool to help you to be more in tuned with your body and satisfied with your food. It is being aware of what you are experiencing both inside and outside the body without judgment or criticism.
Here are some specific examples of mindful eating:
- Use all five senses when you eat. By using all of your senses you will be able to really taste your food. This helps with satisfaction.
- Focus on the bite in your mouth. If you are always focusing on that next bite you will not be able to enjoy the current bite of food to its full potential.
- Eat SLOWLY. It takes about 15-20 minutes for your body to catch up to what you just put in it. A slower pace will help prevent you from over eating. It will also allow you to enjoy your food.
- Plate your food. Don’t eat from a bag or container. It is a lot easier to be mindless.
- Eat at the table. This will allow you to focus your attention on your meal. It will also help to prevent the mindless couch munchies.
- Check in with yourself before you eat or go back for seconds. Ask yourself if you are physically hungry. It is a lot easier to say, “No, I am not physically hungry” then “No I don’t want more pizza.”
- Never wait until you are extremely hungry to eat. As you probably know from experience, when you are really hungry you don’t care what you eat and you eat pretty fast. This makes it easy to over eat.
- Ask yourself, “What food choice can I make to help nourish my body?” This is especially good if you are going out to eat.
- Stay hydrated. Your body can confuse thirst with hunger. If you are hydrated it is a lot easier to tell if you are physically hungry.
- If you do make a food/beverage choice that is not helping you reach your goals find the positive and don’t let it affect the rest of your day.. What can you learn from this? How can you improve this situation next time?
Which of these things do you already do? Which ones do you want to work on? Pick one thing that you want to work on and start today!