Mindful eating is about being aware of what internal and external cues trigger how you eat.
Using techniques to prevent mindless eating is a great strategy for maintaining a healthy body weight. With the busy world we live in today, it’s easy to scarf down a whole meal without even taking the time to chew or enjoy it.
So how do you do it?
Start working on acknowledging you triggers by being aware of what you are eating and how you feel.
A few strategies I use with clients include using pre-portioned plates or containers, drinking from smaller cups when trying to reduce sugar sweetened beverages, placing unhealthful foods out of sight or not buying them and ordering smaller portions at restaurants, etc. Practicing rating your hunger, keeping a journal, observing the appearance and texture of foods and chewing slower are all ways to practice mindfulness.
The main points of mindful eating include being aware of what you are fueling your body with including the food preparation and how you eat, choosing enjoyable and nutrient dense foods, having a healthy relationship with food (nonjudgmental), recognizing and honoring physical hunger and satiety cues.
Some mindless attitudes:
- The food is in front of me, so I better eat it
- I paid for it and I need to get my money’s worth
- It’s time to eat, everyone else is eating
- I’m stressed and eating helps me feel better
- I’m emotional and food fixes everything
- I have work to do and snacking helps me focus
- I don’t have a lot of time, I have to eat quickly
These are all behaviors we need to work on. Nobody is perfect, especially those of us with busy schedules that are always multitasking.
Start working on being present while eating. Engage in the small, flavors, appearance and listen to your body. You are UNIQUE.
Stop seeking answers from fad diets, magazines, Instagram, fitness celebrities, and focus on you. Comparison steals joy, start looking at your nutrition as an individualized plan.