Is your job so busy that you either eat as you work, or need to “gulp” down your meal quickly to get back to your busy schedule? Have you ever been to the movies and wanted some popcorn (which you’ve noticed that sizes are either large or HUGE), and thought to yourself: “There’s no way I will ever finish all of this”, to then realize that most (or all) the popcorn was gone by the end of the movie?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions or can come up with your own personal example, you’re not alone! These are only a few examples to show you how easy it is to get our minds distracted and lose our focus from a natural, healthy, and what should be a pleasurable activity.
The Centre for Mindful Eating (TCME) describes mindful eating as “allowing yourself to become aware of the positive and nurturing opportunities that are available through food selection and preparation by respecting your own inner wisdom. By using all your senses in choosing to eat food that is both satisfying to you and nourishing to your body, acknowledging your responses to food (likes, dislikes or neutral) without judgment, and becoming aware of physical hunger and satiety cues to guide your decisions to begin and end eating you can change your relationship to food.”
In other words, it’s not just about what you eat, but how you eat that matters. To eat mindfully requires you to pay full attention to your food/meals and to the way you eat. That will help you detect when you are full, and give you a sense of pleasure and connection to what you are eating.
Here are my easy to follow Mindful Eating Tips:
- Eat when you’re sitting down. Choose a few areas at home and/or at work that are only used for eating and eat only there. Remember: eat, doesn’t rhyme with multitask; your projects will wait for you after your done.
- Eat Slowly. Find a trick that works for you to slow down and get a chance to truly enjoy your meal with all your senses. Consider the flavors as well as the colors, smells, and textures of your meal. What seems to work for me is putting my fork down between each bite, or getting lost in a good conversation with someone; which allows me to take breaks when it’s my turn to talk.
- If you notice that you’re not enjoying your meal, choose another option if possible. Not enjoying what you are eating will leave you feeling dissatisfied.
- Try switching hands. Put your fork or spoon in the opposite hand that you usually utilize to eat. This will force you to work a little harder on hand to mouth coordination, which will help you pay more attention to every bite instead of being on autopilot and inhaling your meal in a few seconds.
Discover more resources on mindful eating at: http://www.thecenterformindfuleating.org/