Mindful eating can mean different things to different people. Essentially, however, it is all about learning how to evaluate your meal portions, eat without being distracted, snack smarter, and develop self-control. Once you have harnessed the power of mindful eating, you will learn to eat less, but feel satisfied and enjoy the act of eating.
Take Your Sweet Time When Eating
Taking the time to savor your food in between bites will help you appreciate the food you are eating. Fun fact: it will take your brain at least 20 minutes to recognize that you are actually eating, so you need to give some time to recognize satiety or feeling full. Eating too quickly might lead you to overeat because your brain will not recognize that you are physically full until it is too late.
Avoid Distractions While Eating
When eating, be in the moment and just eat. Otherwise, you might end up paying more attention to the distraction — watching a video, for instance. Try this exercise: close your eyes when eating, and you will notice how better the food tastes, smells, and feels in your mouth.
While mindless eating does not seem dangerous, it could be harmful to your weight. Failing to focus on your food may lead to your brain to miscalculate how much you are eating, which, in turn, may result in overeating.
Portion Your Food Properly
Your stomach is as big as two of your fists are. If you consume an amount of food bigger than that, you are essentially overeating. So when portioning your meals, always keep in mind the size of your stomach.
Portion is one of the first things you’ll learn when you take up nutrition counseling in a reputable weight loss clinic such as the MD Diet Clinic in Salt Lake City, including the different kinds of food and how much you should ideally eat at each meal.
Prepare Your Snacks
Whenever possible, separate your snacks into small containers or buy foods that are already pre-portioned. Some fruits, a handful of carrot sticks or nuts, or a cup of cereal can fit easily into a container or snack bag. When you always have a snack handy, you will not be tempted to eat out or buy something from the vending machine.
Exercise Control Over Temptations
This is admittedly one of the hardest things to do, so to get you started, consider strategically hiding tempting treats. This is especially important if you are not entirely ready to rid your house of unhealthy foods, like cookies, chips, and candies.
Place these temptations in places that are difficult to reach or have someone else hide them instead. Keep healthy snacks in the front portion of your refrigerator and cupboards or displayed in a bowl in the kitchen countertop or table. This way, you can easily reach for them should you feel the need to snack away.
Mindful eating is a powerful approach to control unhealthy eating habits, but it will take you some time and willpower to perfect. If you have tried conventional diets to no avail, trying mindful eating will not hurt.