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Hungry? Bored? Tips to be more mindful when eating.

Feb 02, 2016 by Heather

 “Mindful Eating is eating with intention while paying attention.” 

            Useful knowledge fills our minds, and yet too much food sometimes fills our bellies.  Do our minds work for or against our bodies when it comes to food?  

Food = fuel.
Food = health.
Food = pleasure.
Food = celebration. 

            Food serves many purposes.  Let’s face it – we need it to survive.  But we don’t always pay attention to what or how much we are eating.  Many of us will also admit that it’s not uncommon to use food to fill a void.  We turn to food when we are bored, tired, depressed, stressed, or lonely.  Paying more attention when we eat just might help us enjoy the taste of food, enjoy our conversations during meals, and make wise choices when it comes to the quantity (portion size) of the foods we consume. 

            Much research has been done on the subject of mindful eating.  Research supports that being more mindful with food can help reduce overeating, binge eating, and help with weight loss. It can also help people cope with eating disorders.  Experts also believe that these benefits are the results of a simple reawakening of the connection between mind and stomach – tuning into your body’s natural cues that let you know when to start and stop eating.  We don’t want these cues to be drowned out by phones, multitasking, and the fast-paced world that keeps us from listening to our bodies

Try these Tips:

- Slow down and sit down.

Pay attention to the food in front of you instead of texting right through it.

Do you eat in less than 15 minutes?  If you don’t really taste your food, it’s as if you didn’t eat it, and you are likely to want more.

If you need to multi-task during meal time, challenge yourself to enjoy the first few bites before adding a to-do task with a fork in your hand.

Drink water between bites to force yourself to slow down (and possibly eat less).

- Carve out time.

Even if you can’t dedicate a full ½ hour to lunch, enjoy it mindfully in 10 minutes. 

Treasure the family dinner table.  Enjoying a meal with loved ones can give you much needed family time.

- Notice your food.

Notice the color, texture, shape, taste, and smell.  Enjoy it, chew slowly, and know that healthy foods are fueling your body.

- Ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?”

True hunger doesn’t cause feelings of guilt like emotional hunger can cause.  Emotional eating can also cause very specific cravings (for example sweet or salty foods).

Is your stomach actually rumbling?  If you have a low energy level, it might be time for a healthy snack.

Let me know if these tips were helpful to you.  I am here to help you meet your health and Wellness goals.

Well Wishes - Heather

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