8 Tips to Help You Practice Mindful Eating
1. Begin with your shopping list. Stick to what you are planning to buy and make sure to add healthy snacks to your list. Consider the health value of every item you add to your cart in the produce section and avoid the center aisles which have processed foods.
2. Check in with your hunger and fullness level before eating. Check where you are on the hunger scale. Take some time to reflect how you feel, are you rushed, sad, bored, anxious? Ask how hungry you are then try drinking some water. After a couple of minutes if you are still feeling hungry then you may prepare your meal or snack.
3. Turn off the TV and everything with a screen. The distractions will make you less aware of what and how much we are eating. It also causes us to take big bites and not chew as much.
4. Serve out your portions. Serve your food on a 9-inch plate, nothing bigger, as it will make your plate look full while there is less food than a bigger plate. Portion out your food and try cleaning up the leftovers or put the rest of the food away.
5. Bring all your senses to your meals. Whether you are cooking, eating, or serving the food, pay attention to the color, aroma, and texture. As you are chewing, try to identify the ingredients and seasonings that you are eating. You can also guess what nutrients you are consuming, be it carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, or maybe combinations of both.
6. Chew 30 times. Try chewing slowly and try getting 30 chews in each bite. It might be tough to even get 20 chews if it's oatmeal but as a general guide try to aim for 30. Put your utensils down between each bite so you are not quick to grab your next bite.
7. Silence. Try eating your meal in silence occasionally. When it's quiet it is natural for your mind to wander so recognize those thoughts and be in tune with your feelings.
8. Practice, practice, practice! Think of a kid riding his bike with training wheels, the child may want to quickly learn to ride without the training wheels but without practice it will not happen. As you practice and focus on your attention skills, mindful eating becomes more natural. Eventually you can learn to eat mindfully, not only slowly but at different paces in different settings, and even alone or with others.
Interested in learning about weight goal and nutrition needs? Schedule a free body weight and fat% analysis with Hazel at 626-283-5128 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org