Have you ever heard of the phrase mindful eating? What does this actually mean?
Mindful eating addresses our relationship with food. We eat to nourish and sustain our body but sometimes we reach for food in times of stress and emotion while other times we merely eat out of habit even though we aren’t hungry.
Have you ever devoured a plate full of food and thought, flipping heck I didn’t even notice I’d eaten all that!! Do you eat to the point you are totally and utterly stuffed???? Do you eat even when you aren’t hungry?? This may help you.
Sometimes we will eat without realising how much we’ve eaten. Or, we finish what we’ve started because there are only a few bites left. We’ve eaten on the run, in the car, or while answering e-mails or watching tv while on facebook too! Sitting down at the kitchen table is long gone for a lot of people, where do you eat your meals? I eat in front of the TV mainly. The practice of mindful eating seeks to change all this and put us back in control of what we eat, when we eat, and how much we eat.
Being mindful requires us to stay in the moment. It helps us focus and make deliberate choices and not ones that are reactive to feelings or to the surrounding environment. Mindfulness serves to break unhealthy associations with food and can help relieve the stress that can come with it. Taking time to plan meals, to sit and take pleasure in meals, to slow down and savor each bite of food can give us a break from the daily routine and give us a chance to turn the attention to ourselves. Mindful eating can help us develop a calm, controlled, and balanced energy around food.
Here are a few strategies I’ve found for practicing mindful eating:
• Always ask yourself “am I hungry?” when you feel like eating. Hunger is physical; it is not the same as a craving. Thirst is sometimes confused with hunger so stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day.
• Getting too hungry can lead to overeating and poor food choices. I can be guilty of this. Be sure you are eating three healthy meals a day and two or three healthy snacks. Stay in control. Fruit, yogurts, hi fi bars, veggie sticks and dips are all fab snacks.
• Identify emotional triggers such as stress, sadness, or boredom. Cope with these feelings through exercise, relaxing in a bath, use your syns and always stay to group for image therapy. Identify environmental triggers, too. Trying to eat at the table or if you cook too much food, quickly popping it in the fridge for lunch the next day. If the kids sweets are screaming your name, put them somewhere out of sight so they aren’t constantly in your eye line when you open the cupboards.
• Eat slowly and take small bites. Now this is the one I will struggle with the most!!! I eat mega fast, always have done!! Then I dint realise I’m full till it’s too late. My bf laughs his head off at how much food I can put away and how quickly!! Dinner times in my family home were like a race!! My mom is the same. Try and put your fork down between bites. Use your senses and experience the colour, texture, aroma, and flavour of your food. Sounds bit airy fairy I know, but give it a try.
• Pause during your meal and assess how full you are. This will help you reconnect with your natural hunger and fullness cues. Stop eating when you feel comfortably full. You don’t have to eat everything on your plate—wrap it up for another meal and don’t plate so much food the next time. Again I need to do this!!
Eating mindfully helps to focus on the enjoyable aspects of food by making us more aware and thoughtful of the choices we make. Learning to eat mindfully allows us to be back in command of our body and can lead to a more healthful relationship with food and perhaps a more healthful you.
So next time you’re about to inhale your plate like your life depends on it ha ha stop and remember this blog 🙂
Happy Fopping xx