When it comes to eating healthy, actions and attitudes play very important roles. It’s not just about what you put in our mouths, but also how you eat.
However, in today’s modern age and culture, eating has become sort of a mindless act – you know, eating out of habit or convenience, turning to food for comfort or just eating for instant gratification.
Not paying attention to the way you eat can sabotage your plans for a healthy lifestyle and increase your risk for developing eating disorders.
That is why in order to achieve your goal weight or maintain an overall sense of well-being, you must be mindful of how you eat.
Based on Buddhism’s concept of mindfulness, mindful eating is eating with intention and attention. In fact, there are trainings and programs that teach about mindful eating. Some go beyond as challenging people to “reflect on the flavors, textures and smells in minute detail” after each bite.
But not everybody has time for that. Don’t worry; you can still be mindful of the way you eat without having to spend so much time and effort.
Having said that, here are 7 realistic ways to practice mindful eating:
1. Pause. Think.
For every food choice you make, always take a moment to tune in to what you want and think about your diet goals. Take time to consider whether your choice will provide the right nourishment to your body. You should be in control of your food and not let food control you.
2. Take your time.
Like I said, most of us don’t really have the time to reflect on each bite but it’s important to make a conscious effort to avoid eating too fast. By doing this, you become aware of your body telling you when you are already full. If you’re like me who thinks that every mealtime is some sort of a race, some few hacks would be putting your fork down between bites or using the opposite hand when eating.
3. Remove distractions.
Turn off the T.V, put your smart phone away and leave your laptop and paper works in your desk. By removing all these distractions, you can decrease the chances of overeating, because multitasking or distracted eating can prompt you to eat more.
4. Out of sight, out of mind.
If it’s not in the house, you’ll limit the chances of giving in to unhealthy comfort foods. So remove all those junk and replace it with healthy food options, because we are all humans and we all know how hard it is to resist hot Cheetos.
5. Keep a food journal.
It’s good to be able to take note of what you eat, the quantity, mood and the corresponding date and time to get a clear understanding of the circumstances that trigger your mindless and emotional eating.
Research says that when we eat, we tend to fill our plates to the brim and eat it clean. Therefore, using smaller plates or bowls will help you with portion control.
7. Know your food.
Last but definitely not the least, a huge part of “mindful eating” is knowing where your food comes from. By instilling this habit of always knowing your food sources, you also change the way you shop for your ingredients and other food products, which affects so many factors in your clean eating journey.