Mindful eating is a great tool for changing your eating habits. It can shift the way you think about and experience food on a daily basis. Whether you’re looking to lose weight or gain control of your mindbody health, these helpful tips will guide you in getting started with mindful eating.
Eat Sitting Down
So many of us stand while eating because we tend to “sneak” our meals in between meetings, phone calls, chores, and other obligations. In these situations, our bodies are tense and ready to move onto the next thing, which is not the ideal environment for digestion. Sitting while eating can actually slow the rate of digestion. That means you are fuller longer and your body has more time to absorb the nutrients in the food that you eat.
So, even if you only have a few minutes, make it a point to take a seat. Your body will instantly soften, creating a better environment for nutrient absorption. Plus, your mind will slow down enough for your to appreciate the moment. You deserve a little bit of peace in your day.
Eat Distraction free
Our daily lives are ruled by stimulation. There is rarely a waking moment when we are not confronted with the option of paying attention to social noise. We have televisions, phones, radios, laptops, and other devices to keep us occupied in every single moment. When we use these distractions during meals, we develop a habit of mindlessly putting food into our mouths without awareness of:
- Whether or not the food is satisfying.
- If it tastes good or not.
- The moment we start to feel full.
- Any negative reactions (i.e. a sensitivity, digestive discomfort, or mild allergic reaction)
If you want to change your relationship food, put down your phone and even your book. Pay attention to what you are eating. You may find that it’s not as good as you thought it was or that you noticed the moment you felt satisfied.
Choose food you like
How often have you gone on a diet in which you had to eliminate all of the “good food” in exchange for the “rabbit food” you thought would help you drop 20 pounds in 21 days? Or decided that you would force yourself to eat something because your doctor told you it was healthy? To that I say two things:
- There are so many food options out there, many of which are good for your AND taste good!
- There’s a way to make room for your favorite treats that keeps you healthy and fit.
- Make room for dishes you love. I LOVE my breakfasts. Most days, I eat sausage and eggs, either with toast or corn tortillas. Later in the day I make sure I get in veggies at least once and some sort of fruit for a snack. Every day I am satisfied because I get to eat what I love! And I’m in the best shape of my life!
- If you have a health issue or are on a nutrition plan, find healthy alternatives of the meals you like. It may take some time to find a recipe or brand that matches up to your expectations. But, trust me, it is worth the effort and the satisfaction.
Slow Down and Chew Your Food
If you’re the type that inhales your food (like most of us do), then you probably know that you need to slow it down a bit. No need to follow any time rule or chew 50 times before you swallow. Simply aim to chew your food to the point where it is as crushed or as mushy as possible.
Fun fact: Your saliva contains enzymes that help break down the food and prepare them for digestion. The smaller the particles of food, the easier it is for your body to absorb the nutrients and eventually digest! So, chewing more can actually contribute to a healthier gut! Think of it as a simple part of your healthy eating routine. It will only add a few extra minutes to your meal and leave you feeling more satisfied at the end of it.