Sit in a quite space, with real dish ware and utensils and slowly savor each bite (or sip!).
I'm sure you've heard the term 'mindful eating' before, but do you really understand what it means?
Eating mindfully is the practice of being present and aware of your eating habits.
This involves paying attention to cues inside and outside of the body. We all get distracted, rushed, overly hungry and in the habit of multitasking while eating. This proves disastrous for out bodies. Think of sitting in a movie theater, fully inthralled by the film on the large, loud screen. Your hand reaches into the popcorn bag only to find kernels. Empty! What?! How did that happen!? Oops... We've all been there. The problem is most of us make a habit of being distracted during eating. Maybe not to that degree, but on a day to day/ meal to meal basis, a little bit adds up!!
- Do you dine in front of the TV?
- Do you become overly full often?
- Do you eat many packaged foods?
- Are you an emotional eater?
- Do you find yourself grazing throughout the day?
- Skip meals?
How to Be Mindful
Spend time preparing your own meals, you'll appreciate eating them more!
Appearance matters. We eat with our eyes first and looking at a pretty plate of food is a very satisfying sensation.
No multitasking! You're meal is an event all on its own, treat it as an experience. This means TV OFF!
Try dining at a table (not your desk!), with no distractions.
Slow down. Time you meals and try to spend an extra 5 minutes dining. Since it normally takes ~20 minutes to feel full, slowing down helps us be in tune with hunger cues.
Chew more. Chewing your food thoroughly not only helps digestion, but it slows the meal down and allows you to savor each bite. Aim for 40 chews per bite. Food that needs to be chewed more tends to be more fibrous, whole and healthful.
Pay attention to your food. Do you like the texture, taste, temperature?
Take a sip of water between bites.
Choose quality over quantity.
Ask yourself 'Am I hungry?' before eating.
Practice! Eat an apple one bite at a time; chewing each bite thoroughly. When the apple is finished, drink a glass of water. Now ask yourself, 'Am I hungry?'.
Why dine this way? Doing so will allow you to better appreciate your food. When eating without distraction, you'll begin to notice you want to eat cleaner, simpler foods. You can enjoy the true taste of food instead of eagerly inhaling any old processed product. You'll begin to notice you are becoming full. Being more in touch with your hunger scale allows you to eat the correct amounts for your body, not just eat the whole package because its there. You will likely lose weight due to choosing healthier foods and eating the right portions for your body and hunger levels. You'll be able to distinguish between emotional and physical hunger and deal with eat appropriately.
Overall eating mindfully allows us to take control of connection between eating and wellness/ health status.
As this photo indicates, mindfulness is just part of the big picture of overall health and wellbeing.
Check in for future posts addressing this topic of overall wellness as The Cadence Kitchen attempts to get you on the right path.