In this article I share 11 traits to what a mindful eater looks like AND 13 ways to get started with practicing Mindful Eating. But first ...
What Exactly is Mindful Eating?
In the simplest of language, the term “mindful eating” means a few concepts put together. It means paying attention to what you put in your mouth, savouring the flavours & textures, and being appreciative of the nutrients it provides your body and where the food comes from.
This is quite a few concepts and they are explained further below!
How can I become more of a mindful eater?
1. By changing your “grab and go” kind of thinking into something more of a deliberate thought. process with a healthier choice than what you probably were making before.
2. Paying attention to the flavours that come through with the food chosen.
3. Eating with no distractions around you, such as electronic devices, TV or reading.
4. Paying attention to when you feel full, along with recognizing better your hunger cues and satiety signals. This takes time, but if you pay attention it can be done!
5. Focusing on the present moment.
6. Distinguishing between real hunger and non-hunger.
7. Engaging more senses in noticing the various colors, smells, sounds, textures, and tastes of the variety of foods you eat.
8. Learning to cope with guilt and anxiety about food.
9. Eating to maintain overall health and well-being i.e. eat to live and not live to eat.
10. Noticing the effects food has on your feelings.
11. Noticing the effect foods have on your body composition.
But HOW do I get started?
1. It all starts with grocery shopping: allowing enough time for making the right food selections and being prepared with a grocery list.
2. Be aware of the other “food” distractions - remember marketing plays a bigger role than you may think when it comes to making purchase decisions.
3. Create a collection of healthy recipes - either in a paper or electronic format. (I love Pinterest!)
4. Ensure you have prepared for your week ahead. (at least 5-6 days worth/week)
5. Begin by eating more slowly and DON’T RUSH mealtimes.
6. Chew thoroughly.
7. Eliminate distractions by turning off the TV and putting down your phone.
8. Eat with others to have a conversation as more of a focus rather than an “eat and run” focus.
9. Focus on how the food makes you feel.
10. Stop eating when you’re full.
11. Have sips of water throughout your meal.
12. Try to set your fork or spoon down between bites.
13. Take 3 deep breaths before beginning to eat and think about the process it took to get that meal together.
TADAH! You are now a Mindful Eater!!