Mindful eating is very important and this is the major reason why I decided to write this article to give you 10 tips to help you achieve mindful eating. However, I must remind you that all of the tips may not work for everyone. Therefore, it may be a good idea to try a few to see which ones work for you.
It is usually a good idea to reflect on your feelings before eating. Are you stressed? Rushed? Bored? Sad? Hungry? What are your needs and what are your wants? Ensure that you differentiate between the two. Taking a moment to reflect will help you decide whether or not you need to eat, what you would like to eat and how you would like to eat.
2. Sit down
Avoid eating on the go. Have a seat. If you multi-task, you may end up not appreciating the food you are eating. It can also be hard to keep track of how much you are eating when you eat on the go.
3. Turn off the TV or anything that has a screen
If you glance down from your tablet, phone or computer or watch the TV while eating, you may end up eating more. This is because of the fact that you will be distracted hence making you less aware of what and how much you are eating. You will not be able to control your intake and this can make you gain weight.
4. Serve out your portions
Try as much as possible to avoid eating straight from the box or bag as this can make you overeat (you cannot see how much you have eaten) and make it hard for you to appreciate the food you are eating as it is hidden from view.
5. Pick the smaller plate
If you see less, you will most likely crave less. Smaller plates can help you control how much you are eating. Picking a smaller plate can be ideal for all-you-can-eat buffets.
6. Give gratitude
Before eating, acknowledge the effort that went into the food you are about to eat. You can thank the farmers, mother Earth, the animals, the factory workers, the chefs or your companions at the table. Thinking about your food can make a big difference to what you eat according to London Meditation Centre.
7. Chew 30 times
It is highly recommended to chew 30 times out of every bite. However, you should remember that this is not achievable when it comes to some meals such as oatmeal. Take time to enjoy the texture and flavor of the food you are eating before swallowing. Doing so can help you avoid overeating as it gives your gut time to send messages to the brain saying that you are full.
8. Put down your utensil
In most cases, people make the mistake of preparing the next morsel with their knife and fork while they are still chewing the previous bite. It is good to put down your utensils after every bite and only pick them once you have swallowed the previous bite.
9. Resign from the Clean Plate Club
I am sure that most of us were told when we were kids to eat everything on our plate before leaving the table. However, this may not be good for your health. Pack the leftovers to go or just leave the last few bites.
I know that many people out there would not like to waste food and will make sure that they eat everything on the plate. However, overstuffing will not be beneficial to those in need. This is where tip number 5 comes in handy.
10. Eat your meals in silence
It is usually good to eat your meals in silence as it will help you focus on the food you are eating. When it is quiet, your mind will wander; acknowledge these thoughts and see if you can gently return to your eating experience. Be conscious of the flavor, consistency, smells, and tastes of the food you are eating and don’t forget to fully appreciate the moment.
Mealtime can be an important time for sharing the day as this is the time when the whole family gathers around the table to eat and it can be hard or awkward to eat in silence. However, remember that even spending the first 5-10 minutes in silence can be beneficial.
Mindfulness can be beneficial at any time of the year but it can especially be very important during the holidays and can even be more important than healthful eating. Focus your attention on the present to embrace companionship, overall contentment and connectivity and I can assure you that the season will be more meaningful for you.