Mindful eating, it’s apparently the new “weight loss” trend nowadays. But it’s really not new nor is it a diet trend, it’s a way of life. It’s different from willpower. Some people can go on a diet and say no to certain things for a certain time but at some point, their willpower will be weakened and they will end up going back to their old ways. The problem lies in the disconnect between the mind and the body. It then becomes harder to get out of eating patterns. But when you pay attention to your body and it comes into alignment with your mind, you’ll never have to go on a diet. Here are some tips for a more mindful you!
1. Shift out of Autopilot Eating – Do you remember what you ate this morning? What about yesterday? Many people eat the same thing everyday without thinking about it. Start noticing whether you have become stuck in a routine. Noticing is the first step.
2. Take Mindful Bites – “I inhaled that burger!” Have you ever eaten a whole meal without tasting one single bite? Next time you eat, bring all your senses to the table – breathe in the aroma, notice the texture and how it feels on your tongue, experience the food, truly taste it like you haven never tried it before. Savour each bite. Really taste your food instead of mindlessly munching.
3. Hunger Check – From a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being beyond hungry, 5 just right and 10 beyond hungry…ask yourself, “How hungry am I?” The holistic way is to eat when you are at a 3 or 4 and to stop eating at around 6 when you are quite satisfied. It will take some time to gauge your hunger but the more you practice mindfulness, the more in tune you will be to your physical body and it will just become second nature. Balance is key, don’t leave yourself neither stuffed or starving. (Check out this hunger scale)
4. Be Attentive – Have you ever eaten in front of the t.v., looked down and your food was gone in less than 5 minutes? Try to avoid multitasking when you eat. Make time for it! When you eat, just eat. This way, you are able to take more mindful bites and enjoy your food! Experience that moment and be fully present when you eat.
5. Think & Speak Mindfully – What you conceive in your mind is what you’ll eventually find. Negative thoughts can trigger overeating or stop you from feeding your hunger. The words you say can affect those around you who may be struggling with food issues. Be aware of when “should” or any rigid rules or guilt pop into your mind. Let it go and eat mindfully!
“When you pay attention to your body
and it comes into alignment with your mind,
you’ll never have to go on a diet.”
Mindfulness means being fully present in the moment without judgment. It helps you break free from routine eating habits by examining thoughts, feelings and internal pressures that affect how and why you eat. Remember, mindful eating is a way of life. Change your thought, change your behaviour and change your life.