Have you heard of mindful eating? Maybe you have, but you’re not really sure what it means … or whether you should be doing it?
I’d like to say that I practice mindful eating … but I don’t always. Sometimes, yes.
Most of the time I eat because it’s the appropriate time i.e. morning tea, lunch etc and I think that if I don’t eat at the right time I might somehow be extra hungry later and just gorge myself. Actually, this does happen particularly if I skip a meal.
Sometimes I just eat because I’m tired, thirsty, procrastinating or because I need a sweet treat after dinner. Doesn’t everyone??
Is this you …
Do you find that you shovel your meal down so that you get on with your next task?
Do you eat on the run? Or as you are running out the door!
Mindful eating could be a way of slowing you down ( I know, this could mean the end of the earth! ) rather than eating and not even registering that you have eaten or that you may or may not have enjoyed the meal!
What is mindful eating all about?
- Listening to your body’s physical cues i.e. thirsty, hungry, satisfied and asking yourself that question, “Am I thirsty? Am I hungry?”
- Learning to base eating and meals on these physical hunger cues, not on emotional cues i.e. tired, upset, stressed
- Aiming to change our attitudes and practices around eating / meals and meal times ( some research suggests that this area may be as important if not more than what we actually put in our mouths or obsessing about the number on the scales and I do tend to agree. As a society I feel we eat too much, more than our body requires. We also put so much pressure on ourselves to be a certain weight or dress size. The number on the scales or your clothes is certainly not reflective of important things such as fitness or health! )
- Learning to recognise when you are full. Feeling satisfied but not eating everything on the plate or eating until you are overfull and uncomfortable. I’m pretty sure we have all had that feeling of needing to unbutton our pants after a rather large meal! Learning to recognise your body’s signal it’s had enough.
If you would like to give mindful eating a go, here are a few tips to get you started …
Sit down to eat .. somewhere you can relax and enjoy your meal
Eat slower, chew every mouthful ( does not have to be 100 times! )
Savour every bite. Experience the flavour, the smell, the texture
Focus on enjoying every bite
Make sure there is no technology or TVs on distracting you.
You don’t need to do this for every meal. Try it for one and see how you feel.
On a side note, I’m not a dietitian or nutritionist. These are my own thoughts based on my own research .. a little food for thought if you will.