Because food is such a big part of our culture and environment, oftentimes we are unaware of what and how much we are eating. Our food saturated environment (potlucks, “drive through,” fast food, order-out pizza, food laden checkouts and donut-filled break rooms) make healthy eating a real challenge! Therefore, if we are trying to control and manage our food intake and body weight, we must pay deliberate attention to eating and the pleasure of food.
Here are some ideas to help with mindful eating:
- Learn to begin and end a meal with a curiosity for levels of hunger and fullness and use these as a guide to begin or stop eating.
- Learn personal triggers for mindless eating such as emotions (boredom, anger, happy), life pressure (deadline, lack of sleep), or compelling foods (favorite yummies).
- Focus on the QUALITY of food as opposed to quantity. Allow yourself to explore, see, smell, taste and savor your food.
- Use all your senses! Sight –focus on color, texture, shape, Smell-take in the aroma before the first bite, Taste- let the food linger, savor, delight, Texture-feel shape, roll in your mouth, and Hear-crunch, munch, and let it pop!
- Choose foods that take longer to chew and eat, ie salads, vegetables.
- Try not to multi-task when eating. Don’t answer the phone, drive, or anything that would distract you from your eating.
- Try to slow your rate of eating-put the utensils down between bites, and allow enough time to let your food digest!
So start 2016 with a New Eating Style – Awareness, Calmness, and Mindfulness of Your Food and Intake!