All day, every day we are focussing on what we should and shouldn’t eat. But have you ever thought about HOW you eat? We tell ourselves that we “should” eat this, and we definitely “should not” eat that. The problem is that many of these “shoulds” are based on limited or false information.
Instead of listening to our internal wisdom and appetites we make choices based on outside authority. Nearly everyone you know has an opinion on whats wrong and right… am I right? Plus TV shows, advertisements, health gurus, your parents, your friends or colleagues and of course Google! There is so much information out there on what to eat and not to eat. But in the process of listening to everyone else, we lose touch with our ability to tune into our bodies and listen to what it is telling us.
We don’t even no what hunger is anymore, constantly eating and always having food at our finger tips. But then at the same time we are so afraid to eat certain things and then when we do ‘slip up’ we punish ourselves.
This post isn’t going to go into ‘the best weightloss secrets’ or ‘how to get abs fast’. This post is going to explore the idea of Mindful Eating. So let’s dive in!
Mindful eating is nothing new, its just that our fast pace lifestyles have stolen the time we use to give to sitting down to a set table and really enjoying and appreciating our food. Its something our grandparents and great grandparents would have done naturally. So why is mindful eating ‘a thing’ and what are the real benefits of mindful eating?
Mindful eating is eating with intention and attention. That sounds very simple but eating without distraction can be difficult with phones, emails and the demands of daily life. Here are some basic ways to start encouraging mindful eating:
1. Being aware of your physical cues vs emotional cues. In short, eat when you are hungry not when you are tired, emotional or have that afternoon sugar craving.
2. Fulfil your emotional needs with something other than food, this might be a walk, a chat to a friend, read a book, drink water or something you consider personally indulgent.
3. Enjoy your food, think about the connection you have with it, where it came from and how it is going to nourish your body.
4. Eat distraction free, turn off your phone, TV or other distractions that you can control and try to focus on the taste, smell and feel of the food as you eat it.
5. Sit down and set the table .
6. Chew your food! Slowly.
7. Put your knife and fork down in between mouthfuls.
8. Savour the time and be grateful for the food on your plate.
Applying these tactics daily will hopefully help your relationship with food.
Try them out and let us know if you feel any changes in your mood, fullness and overall health.