Mindful Eating

Oct 09, 2018

Simple Steps for Mindful Eating

Try the following strategies for Mindful Eating to help you identify your body's signals and truly enjoy your food:

  • Start by recognizing whether you're hungry before you begin eating. If you aren't hungry, you won't be as interested so it will be harder to stay focused. Besides, if a craving doesn't come from hunger, eating will never satisfy it.
  • Don't wait until you're famished. One of the keys to conscious eating is to keep your body adequately fed to avoid becoming overly hungry which increases the chance that you'll overeat.
  • Next, decide how full you want to be when you're finished eating. When you eat with the intention of feeling better when you're done eating, you're less likely to keep eating until the food is gone.
  • Choose food that will satisfy both your body and your mind. Our society is so obsessed with eating right that we sometimes eat things we don't even like. However, satisfaction comes not just from fullness but from enjoying the taste of your food--without guilt. Feeling guilty about eating certain foods actually causes more overeating, not less.
  • Set the table in a pleasant manner. Creating a pleasant ambience adds to the enjoyment of eating and to your level of satisfaction. Besides, you deserve it.
  • Eat without distractions. If you eat while you're distracted by watching television, driving, or talking on the telephone, you won't be giving your food or your body's signals your full attention. As a result, you may feel full but not satisfied.
  • Eat when you're sitting down. Choose one or two particular areas at home and at work that are only used for eating and eat only there. For example, do not eat while standing over the sink, peering into the refrigerator or sitting in bed.
  • Appreciate the occasion. Appreciate the atmosphere, the company, or simply the fact that you're giving yourself the opportunity to sit down and enjoy your meal.
  • Take a few breaths and center yourself before you begin eating. This will help you slow down and give eating your full attention.
  • Appreciate the aroma and the appearance of your food. Notice the colors, textures, and smells of the food and imagine what it will taste like.
  • Decide which food looks the most appetizing and start eating that food first. If you save the best until last, you may want to eat it even if you are full.
  • Savor the aromas and tastes of your food as you eat it. Put your fork down between bites and be conscious of all the different sensations you are experiencing.
  • If you notice that you're not enjoying what you chose, choose something else if possible. Eating food you don't enjoy will leave you feeling dissatisfied.
  • Pause in the middle of eating for at least two full minutes. Estimate how much more food it will take to fill you to comfortable satiety.
  • Push your plate forward or get up from the table as soon as you feel satisfied. The desire to keep eating will pass quickly. Keep in mind that you'll eat again when you're hungry.
  • Notice how you feel when you're finished eating. If you overate, don't punish yourself. Instead, be aware of the physical and/or emotional discomfort that often accompanies being overly full and create a plan to decrease the likelihood that you'll overeat next time.

 

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