Mindful Eating-What It Is & How You Can Start
Have you ever eaten something and then a few hours later, you don’t even remember what or how much you ate or if you even enjoyed it? This happens a lot more often than we realize and is usually because as we are eating, we are doing something else at the same time, like reading, driving, working, watching TV or on our phone. This is called mindless eating and unfortunately usually leads to overeating which in turn makes us feel uncomfortable and can lead to digestive issues, weight gain and other health issues.
Mindful eating is the opposite… where we are taking the time to slow down and enjoy the food we are eating; being aware of what and how much is on our plate, and allowing our bodies to adequately digest and process the food.
So how can you practice mindful eating? Start by eating more slowly. It takes 20 minutes for your brain to get the message that your stomach is full. So if you eat very quickly, you are more likely to overindulge and that leads to that uncomfortable “full feeling” and potentially other digestive issues. Over time it leads to overconsumption of calories that our body may not need which can lead to weight gain. Take the time to really chew your food slowly so you can enjoy the taste. Put your fork down in between bites and sip some water. Be aware of your plate at all meals and especially with snacks where we can definitely overeat. Be mindful of what you are placing on your plate for meals, but especially be aware of what and how much you are having for snacks. Take out the serving of the snack you are going to eat instead of eating directly from the box, bag or carton. Eating directly from the container will lead to overeating, but if you take out your serving and put the container away, you will have better control of how much you are eating and you will enjoy it much more.
Make meals a chance to sit down and take a break from your busy day.. a time to turn off electronics and connect with others. Even if you are eating alone, take the time to sit and enjoy your food. Don’t eat standing up, or over the sink, or while driving or rushing around doing something else.
Mindful eating may take some getting used to, but in the end you will find you will enjoy your food much more, and your waist line may thank you too!
If you want to know more or would like to get started with nutrition coaching, book a free nutrition information session today and let’s get you started on your wellness journey!