Be mindful of how you eat

You have all heard the saying you are what you eat.  Have you ever thought about how you eat is just as important?  It is an important factor in nutrition to be mindful of how you eat.  When you are eating, notice your thoughts, feelings and sensations.  Being mindful can impact your health and help to keep you on track with your eating choices.

 A friend of mind is using an app to track her meals.  In addition to tracking her food such as fruit, vegetables, protein, fish, grains etc., she also tracks other elements.  Here are the other areas tracked:

  • What you eat: Home cooked meal, fast food, sit down restaurant, bakery, packaged, whole food
  • Reason for eating: it is time, hungry, social event, I deserve it, bored, stressed, cravings, just love the taste
  • Where you eat: At table, TV, car, bed, work, walking or standing, couch
  • Who you eat with: Eat alone or with friends, family, life partner
  • How you feel when you eat: Feel great, good, not good, nothing special
  • Type of meal: Meal, snack or drink
  • Qualify of the meal: healthy food, unhealthy or mixed

I like that the app has her track her food groups but also asks questions so that she is mindful about why she is eating.

Here are a few tips to think about that could help you become more mindful about how you eat.

Speed

  • Put your fork down between bites, take a breath, enjoy the flavors
  • Switch hands so it takes longer to take a bite

Chewing

  • Chew slow, it can help you feel fuller

Dishes

  • Using smaller dishes will help your plate look fuller 

Wait

  • Give your brain time to catch up to your stomach.  Wait 15 min prior to refilling your plate.

Healthy Eating Environment

  • Keep food items you are trying to avoid out of your kitchen or out of your reach
  • Change your routine, if you stop at your favorite store on the way home to grab an unhealthy snack, select a new route home
  • A distracted brain can overeat.  Be aware of screen time and other distractions while you are eating.

Be mindful of how you eat (not just what you eat). It can help keep you on track with making the healthy eating choices you want to follow.

For more on mindfulness, read Your Most Powerful Tool.

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