12 Easy Ways to Practice Mindful Eating Every Day
Practice Mindful Eating Every Day
Do you often do things without focusing on what you are doing?
Like having something in your hand, and then it’s not where you think it was?
Well, when you are eating that is not such a good thing.
That is how you end up eating the whole bag of chips or cookies.
Mindful eating means being in a state of mental awareness around your eating patterns. It requires active mental thinking about what you do and the decisions you make. Practicing mindful eating gives you the power to control your relationship with food. Also eating so that you can improve your health, body image, and self-esteem.
According to The Center for Mindful Eating (TCME), mindfulness promotes a balance. It determines your choices and wisdom to do so. It frees you of a reactive, habitual pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting when it comes to your relationship with food.
When mindful eating, you understand there is no right or wrong way to eat, but there are various levels of awareness in eating. You also will understand that you are a unique individual with unique eating experiences, tastes, likes, and dislikes.
Finally, when you practice good eating habits it helps you to become more insightful about how you can act to achieve specific health goals. You will become more attuned to eating and how it affects your health.
- Change Your Attitude: A good way to examine your food habits is to journal your intake. It will optimize your eating patterns. You should see a trend on whether you eat for pleasure or because you are hungry.
- Pay Attention to Portions: Paying attention to the amount and frequency of which you indulge allows you to respect the food you eat and yourself in the process. It will banish negative feelings such as guilt and shame. It allows you to build a healthier, more positive relationship with food.
- Tune into Hunger Levels: When you journal, rate your hunger level, zero being very hungry and 5 being very full. Use these cues to help determine when you start and when you stop eating. Avoid getting so hungry that you reach a 0 or so full you reach a 5. In a perfect world, you should be eating until you are 80% full.
- Eat at the Table: Make mealtime its own time. Turn off the TV, put away the reading materials, or doing work which can cause you to be distracted. Research shows that when you watch TV you snack more. What’s more, the longer you watch TV, the more you eat.
- Create an Enjoyable Dining Environment: Sometimes we rush through meals as if eating is a necessary thing to do for survival. Change your mind so that eating is a multisensory experience. Every aspect of the meal, preparing, serving, and even clean up, is part of the experience. Set your table, add music or conversation which can be a part of the process. Design your meals so the focus is not just on the food but on the full experience.
- Avoid the Clean Plate Club: Many eaters have been taught the clean plate rule. You eat until the plate is clean. Cornell University researchers created a bottomless soup bowl, which secretly refilled during a meal. When you practice mindful eating you should rely on satiety levels instead of how empty or full your plate is.
- Eat Slowly, Chew and Savor: Eating slowly can have a great impact on how much you eat. It takes our brain twenty minutes to recognize when we are full. Take a bite, chew slowly, savor the food’s flavor, and feel the texture. Put your fork down, take a couple of breaths. Then take another bite and repeat the process. Make an effort to practice mindful eating by taking at least twenty minutes to eat each meal. Do a mental check-in then to see if you are full.
- Make the Right Foods Available: Avoid buying foods that are processed or unhealthy. Instead, keep a fruit bowl and healthy snacks within easy reach. Organize your refrigerator so that the healthiest foods are in the front and easily accessible.
- Choose Quality Over Quantity: High-quality foods will taste better, are more fulfilling, and provide better nutrition. Make a conscious effort to choose quality (organic) over quantity.
- Plan for the Day: Preparation is key to eating more nutritious foods. If you know you will be on the road all day, prepare yourself by bringing healthy snacks so you don’t stop at the convenience store. Skipping meals causes you to be more reactionary than making good choices.
- Be Aware When Eating in Mixed Company: When we dine with others, we tend to eat more. On average when you eat with one other person, you’ll eat 35 percent more than alone. This is partially due to the fact that food remains on the table and visual cues persist.
- Develop A Game Plan for Triggers: If you tend to eat out of boredom, find other activities that keep you from getting bored. If you tend to eat because of stress, find ways to manage stress so food is not the go-to outlet. If eating is driven out of depression seek out professional help to deal with depression in a more constructive way.
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I am Shirley Noah, My mission is to transform your life by providing you the most innovative and highest quality health solutions. For more articles see www.ingoodhealthcoach.com