If you want to have full control of your eating habits, then practicing these mindful eating tips can help you a lot. This technique depends a lot on mindfulness, which is one famous form of meditation. When practicing these mindful eating tips, you have to develop your awareness of physical cues, feelings, and experiences revolving around food.
It is great for those who would like to lose weight, lower their risk of binge eating, and feel good about themselves. To practice it and ensure that you gain full advantage of this technique, here are some vital tips:
- Start by making some changes in your shopping list – Make sure that you are fully aware of the nutritional and health value of all items in your shopping list. As much as possible, stick to highly nutritious foods and ingredients. Avoid buying on impulse and carry a shopping list with you all the time. Once you are grocery shopping, focus on filling your cart with products from the produce section. Avoid processed foods, chips, sugary drinks, and candies.
- Eat with an appetite, not when you are already extremely hungry – Mindful eating is a technique that discourages skipping meals or starving. It is because if you are already extremely hungry because you have starved yourself, then you will have a more difficult time being more mindful of what you eat and how much. You will focus more on satisfying your deprived feeling, instead of appreciating and enjoying your foods.
- Begin eating with just a small portion – Portion eating makes it possible for you to practice mindful eating even more effectively. If you struggle in this area, then use a smaller plate whenever you eat so you can force yourself to just get small amounts of food. It would be best to limit the plate’s size to less than 9 inches.
- Spend a few minutes appreciating your food – Before starting to eat, pause for a bit, around one to two minutes, to appreciate every food that is in front of you. Express your feelings of gratitude silently for the chance to eat delicious foods and be with your loved ones.
- Engage all your senses – This means you have to let your senses get involved not only during the time you eat but also when you shop for foods, cook, and serve them, among many others.
For instance, determine how different ingredients feel, smell, and look while chopping. Listen to the sounds of food when you are cooking them. Get all your senses involved aside from just your sense of smell.
- Chew slowly and thoroughly – Make sure to chew your foods well so you can taste their essence. If possible, chew each mouthful twenty to forty times depending on what exactly you are eating. You will be in for great surprises with the flavors they release if you chew them slowly.
- Focus on each shift in emotion and experience as you eat – For instance, ask yourself every now and then if you are already full or satisfied. Make it a point to take your time during each meal. Stay in the moment and avoid rushing the experience.
- Pay close attention to your body signals – It means you have to observe whether your body already shows signs that you are already full. The best way to do it is to savor each moment by eating slowly.
- Eat intentionally – During mealtimes, focus only on eating. Remove all the distractions and focus only on the foods that are in front of you. With that, it would be easier for you to be more mindful of your eating habits.
- Rate your hunger and yourself – Be more mindful of your level of hunger before eating. By doing that, you can eat based on how hungry you are, instead of filling yourself too excessively. It can prevent overeating and keep your weight under control.
While it can be quite hard to practice mindful eating and slow down, especially if you have a hectic schedule, you can still make it work by thinking of this technique as a form of exercise. Remember the most important principles of mindful eating, such as slowing down, listening to your body cues, and focusing on the eating process alone. By applying those principles, you will have much better eating experiences and complete control over your nutrition and diet.