Many are always trying to follow a certain diet for weight loss, but we often forget about one of the most important dieting behaviors: mindful eating.
Mindful eating means being fully conscious and aware of your eating process. We often eat mindlessly when sitting in front of the TV, rushing out the door in the morning, or just by following old habits. Mindful eating is the key to staying slim and healthy for life.
Here are 8 techniques to eat more mindfully.
- Before you think about eating a meal, stop and think about the reason you are eating. Is it boredom, stress, or real hunger? In addition, rate your hunger on a scale from one to ten. One means you are starving and ten means you are uncomfortably full.
- Decide what controls your eating. Is it your schedule or lifestyle? Is it your emotions? Or, is it simply the presence of food?
- Fill your plate only half-full with food. When you finish with that plate, take a moment to see how full you feel. If you are still hungry, add food to about 20% of the plate. You may continue to do this until you feel satisfied.
- Cut food into smaller bites so that it takes you longer to eat the same amount of food. This will allow more time for you to realize when you are full. Fully experience mealtime by smelling, tasting, and thinking about each bite of food.
- If you think you feel hungry, set a timer for twenty minutes, and then, re-evaluate to see if you are still hungry. Sometimes we think we may be hungry, but after drinking some water or waiting a few minutes, you may think otherwise.
- You can also try setting a timer for twenty minutes at the start of a meal. Try to make your meal last the entire twenty minutes and do not rush through it.
- Take a bite of each of the different foods on your plate by “food hopping”. By eating different bites of different foods, this will help you to slow down and enjoy the different flavors slowly.
- Create a pause and set down your fork between each bite.
Do you have any other techniques you use to eat mindfully?
Resource: Discover Mindful Eating by Megrette Fletcher, MEd, RD, CDE and Frederick Burggraf, MEd.