“Every moment nature is serving fresh dishes with the items of happiness. It is our choice to recognize and taste it.”
― Amit Ray, Mindfulness Living in the Moment – Living in the Breath
If you want to gain control over your eating habits, doesn’t matter if is to lose weight or gain weight or even to have a balanced and healthy diet, mindful eating is what you need to practice
Mindful eating as you’d have already assumed is mindfulness while eating
The first thing to mindful eating just like any mindfulness practice is to avoid distraction. But that isn’t the only thing to it. Here are a few things to keep in mind to eat mindfully
Steps to eat mindfully
Create a mindful kitchen
A mindful kitchen is a kitchen that helps you to make healthy foods and eat healthy. Look at how you have placed the products on your shelf. What are the most easily accessible foods? Are they healthy?
Place the must have healthy foods in the front and the junks at the back, if you can’t avoid it. The same goes to the refrigerator too.
Put healthy foods in the front.
Know your body’s personal hunger signal
Sometimes what you think as hunger may not really be hunger. It might be thirst. Sometimes it might be nothing. Whenever you feel hungry instead of just grabbing a bag of food think of these:
- When did you eat last
- Has it been at least 3 hours since your last meal?
- Do you think that after the last meal you’ll be hungry at this time?
- What were you doing when you started feeling hungry?
- Drink some water and wait for a few minutes to see if you still feel hungry
Note all of these things down and find out if there is a pattern. Some people feel hungry when they are angry. But some feel hungry when they are bored. Some are just thirsty.
Finding this out will help you eat when you are actually hungry
Action step: Note down the times and situations where you feel hungry and try to find out whether it really hunger or just emotions.
Rate your hunger.
Almost similar to the above point. On a rate of 1 to my-stomach-is-grumbling-like-a-dinosaur how hungry do you feel? You might not want to eat just when you start to feel like you are hungry
Come to the table with an appetite
Only go to the dining table when you are sure you are hungry and you are considerably hungry for that matter. Sitting on the dining table and rating just for the sake of eating at a particular time may not make you feel full and you may end up eating more than you need
Start with a small portion
Help yourself to one serving first. If you still think you might need more food, you can always have another serving. But stacking lots of food onto the plate at the first go will make you eat even after you are full.Tweet
Use smaller plates and don’t eat from bag.
Never eat from bags. Never eat from a couch. Never just lay on the couch and eat straight from a bag. If you are hungry go the table and help yourself to a proper meal. And when you do so eat from small plates. This’ll make even small portions look like a plate full of food.
Don’t just gobble up whatever is in the plate. Chew well and make sure every bite of food is broken down. This’ll help you remain healthy and will also make you full with small portions
Bring all your senses to the meal
Make sure to use not only your tongue but all five senses. See the color, smell it, taste it, hear the sound and feel the texture of it. Appreciating your food in this way will help you be more mindful of what you eat and hence help you eat healthy.
Leave one-third to one-quarter of your stomach empty
Just like you know how and when to eat, also know when to stop. Don’t eat till it feels like your stomach is going to burst, make sure to leave some empty space. To ensure this happens drink a glass of water just before you start eating.
Now that you know the basic steps to mindful eating, start practicing mindful eating right from the next meal. Let the year ahead be the healthiest year yet. Let me know in the comments below if you’ve already practiced mindful eating and what other tips you’d like to add to the list
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