It seems like these days when we eat we are distracted. We don’t take the time to relax and fully enjoy our meals which leads to overeating and gaining those unwanted extra calories which further leads to declining health. However, if we take the time to practice mindful eating, we will not only lose those extra pounds, but we will also learn to develop a healthy relationship with food. Here are some tips to implementing these practices in your daily life.
- Eat slowly and don’t rush your meals. Doing this allows your brain to catch up with your gut so it can sense when you are full which will lead to you placing the fork down.
- Chew thoroughly. Chewing your food allows your body to start the digestive processes it needs to absorb nutrients. It will also allow time for the brain-gut connection to develop as well which will lead to you sensing when its time to stop eating.
- Eliminate distractions while eating. With many people having to work from home since the quarantine started, eating while working seems to be the norm. Whether you are knocking out projects, watching television, or scrolling social media while eating, take this time to pull away from any distractions and focus on your meal. Also use this time to converse and connect with family members and friends.
- Focus on how the food makes you feel. Take this time fully enjoy the experience of your meal. With each bite you should notice the texture, the taste and how it makes you feel internally. Notice the sweet and savory aspects of the food and all the ingredients that went into making the meal.
- Drink more water. When you feel hungry, take the time to figure out of it is true hunger or thirst. Sometimes when our body is dehydrated, it will send signals similar to our hunger signals which will make us think we need to eat. Notice the signal and think about the last time you consumed a meal. Was it not that long ago? Chances are your body probably needs fluids more than food. Try drinking at least a glass of water and notice your body afterwards. If the hunger stops, then your body needed fluids, however, if you still are experiencing hunger, then grab a meal or a snack that is high in nutritional value which will cause you to feel full longer.
- Stop eating when you are full. We often remember the words of our parents saying not to waste food or don’t leave the table without finishing your meal, but sometimes it is best not to finish all your food, especially when you become full. This allows you to avoid overeating and will stop the unnecessary calories from creeping up. If you have any left over food, put it away and save it for the next day’s lunch or dinner.
Practicing mindful eating is an amazing way for us to understand our bodies’ needs, especially when it comes to food. Take the time to fully immerse yourself into each of your meals and listen to your body and you’ll start to reap the health benefits.