One of the biggest changes we can make that affects so much of our being is becoming more mindful of our eating habits and more conscious of the foods we’re putting into our bodies.
WHAT IS MINDFUL EATING?
Mindful eating is the practice of being more aware of your food choices, using your body’s intuition to eat food that is both satisfying and nourishing. By allowing yourself the opportunity to be more conscious during eating, you also become more aware of when you’re truly hungry and when your body has had enough.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
There’s a strong connection between what you eat and how you eat it, which will also leave you with a specific feeling afterwards. Do you ever notice that after some meals, you feel satisfied and energetic? After others, lethargic and cranky? This can be directly related to not only what you eat, but how it’s eaten.
Having cues will allow you to not only be mindful of when your body is truly hungry but also to be more aware of when you’re full, helping you to be in tune with your true needs.
HOW CAN I INCORPORATE MINDFUL EATING IN TO MY DAY?
- Find a specific spot to eat that’s intentional and peaceful
- Choose somewhere away from your phone, TV, or anything else that could distract you from focusing on the meal
- Practice deep breathing
- Before you begin eating, take a few deep breaths to help center yourself and be present for the meal
- Express gratitude
- Thank yourself for preparing it, for mother nature for growing it, to God or a higher power you believe in, and/or to the person who prepared the meal you’re about to have. The act of simply being aware and grateful for the food and where it came from can go far in terms of understanding its importance to your well-being
- Chew your food
- If you take one thing away, I would suggest this be that thing. Not only will this allow you to truly taste the flavors and feel the texture of the food you’re eating, but chewing will properly break down the food to allow for better digestion (and less bloating/discomfort after!)
- Slow down
- Slowing down your eating will make it easier for you to determine when you’re truly full. Gone are the days where our parents made us finish our plates in order to get praise – stop when you’re full and know that if you get hungry later, you can have more then. Listen to your body and know that it knows how much you need
I hope some of these tips help you like they have since I began practicing them. Once you become more aware of the eating patterns that you have and your own internal relationship with food, you’ll find that you will have a much healthier relationship with it, making more nourishing food choices that support your goals as well.