Be Mindful of Healthy Eating
Do you remember what you ate for breakfast this morning — if anything at all? With today’s hectic schedules, eating on the run can seem like the norm and a constant grab-and-go way of eating can deprive you of more than just enjoying your food. Mindless eating can lead to less healthful choices and overeating. The cure is to reconnect with the food you eat by practicing mindful eating.
What is mindful eating?
Mindful eating can help change your relationship with food. Eating engages all five senses; touch, sight, sound, taste and smell. These senses help to communicate the feeling of hunger as well as satiety to your brain. With an on-the-go, busy lifestyle these cues can get lost along the way, leading to overeating, poor food choices, skipped meals, and emotional eating.
How can I start practicing mindful eating?
Eat when you are hungry. Try not to eat for emotional reasons such as boredom, sadness or anger. Instead, eat when you are truly feeling hungry. In general, 6 small meals a day is recommended to control hunger.
Stick to a schedule. Avoid long stretches of time between meals. Aim to eat every 2-3 hours for a total of 6 small meals a day. Practice eating your meals and snacks at similar times each day to prevent you from skipping meals.
Sit down and eat. Once you have a schedule of meals and snacks that you are comfortable with, sit down to eat. By stepping away from the computer desk or telephone, you can give your food and your body the undivided attention it needs.
Engage your senses. Eating engages all five senses. Take notice of the smell of your food, the way it looks as well as how it tastes. Eat slowly and savor every bite. You will feel more satisfied and you might experience a new flavor that you overlooked the last time you ate.
Eliminate distractions. It is easy to overeat at meals when you are distracted by watching television or
working on the computer. At meals, make eating the only activity and focus on the food.
Stop eating when you are content – not full. On a hunger scale of 1 being extremely hungry and 10 being full to bursting, you should plan to stop eating between 5 and 7. By giving enough time for your body to tell your brain you’ve had enough, you can prevent the too-full feeling after a large meal.
Mindful eating is a healthy way to help manage your weight and enjoy the food you eat!