When you are mindful it means that you are fully present, in-the-moment without judgment. When it comes to eating, mindfulness helps amplify the volume of your body’s cues so you can hear loud and clear when you are hungry and when you are satiated. Many social and environmental factors can stand in the way of being able to accurately decode your body’s feedback.
Mindfulness helps you break free from routine eating habits by examining the thoughts, feelings and internal pressures that affect how and why you eat or don’t eat.
1. Shift out of Autopilot Eating
Many people eat the same thing day in and day out and at the same time each day. Notice whether you are stuck in any kind of rut or routine and if so think about alternatives such as using low-carb meal replacements and or giving intermittent fasting a try.
2. Take Mindful Bites
Bring all of your senses to the dinner table. Breathe in the aroma of a roast, a curry or your favourite dish. Notice the texture of the food on your tongue. Truly taste your food. Savour each bite from start to finish.
3. Attentive Eating
It’s hard to make eating a priority rather than an option or just an activity. When you eat, give eating 100% of your attention. Try to avoid multitasking while you eat because this can distract you. When you eat, concentrate on what you are eating and enjoy your food!
4. Mindfully Check In
Gauging your hunger level is a little like taking your temperature. Each time you eat, ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?” Aim to eat until you are satisfied, leaving yourself neither stuffed nor starving.
5. Thinking Mindfully
Observe how critical thoughts like “I don’t want to regain the kilos I lost last month or last year” or “I’m so stupid, how could I do that!” can creep into your consciousness. Just because you think these thoughts doesn’t mean you have to act on them or let them sway your emotions. Negative thoughts can trigger overeating or stop you from adequately feeding your hunger.
6. Mindful Speech
Making small talk about dieting and fat is so commonplace that we often aren’t truly aware of the impact it might have on our self-esteem or that of others. When you’re with friends and family, be mindful of your gut reaction to “fat talk” (e.g. “I’m so fat!” or the “I’m so fat; No you’re not” debate). Keep in mind how the words might affect someone struggling with food issues.
7. Mindful Eating Support
Friends and family can provide an enormous amount of support, but sometimes it’s helpful to obtain assistance or a second opinion from a trained professional. If you would like to learn more about mindful eating, or if you have concerns about your eating habits, please go to the UpForIt website and sign up for a free 7-day personal health coaching trial.