Show of hands…who has found themselves recently wearing quite the path from the couch to the kitchen? Are there two footprint marks in front of your pantry from where you’ve been standing snacking for the past few weeks?
You are not alone, my friends! The past few weeks have been packed with uncertainty, worry, stress, and, dare I say it, maybe a little bit of boredom. All of these things are major contributors to mindless snacking.
Fear not! I have some quick tips to shift your snacking from mindLESS to mindFUL.
Mindful eating is this magical technique that slows you down and allows you to actually taste your food and reduce overeating. Ok, so maybe it’s not magical. But it’s definitely effective!
Here are some of the main concepts that I work with clients on to move towards more mindful eating. Remember, you don’t have to implement all of these today! Pick one or two to focus on and work your way through the list. Before you know it, you’ll be a slow, steady Mindful Eating Master!
Free your meals from distraction
This means no phone and no TV. How many meals have you polished off while scrolling Instagram, only to finally look down and realize your food is gone? And you didn’t even TASTE it! Put your phone in another room, turn off the TV and focus on that beautiful plate of food you have in front of you!
Sit at a table
This one goes hand in hand with eating free from distraction. Rather than eating your meal standing in the kitchen, sit at a real table. This puts the focus back on the plate in front of you rather than all the other foods surrounding you.
We live in a fast-paced world and all that running we do creeps into our eating habits. Take the time to chew each bite thoroughly rather than shoveling the next bite in. For some, this may mean physically putting your fork or spoon down between bites.
There are studies out that suggest that the first three-ish bites of a food are what really give us that satisfaction, fill our craving, and light up the pleasure centers in our brains. Hello happy taste buds! But our taste buds get tired quickly and each bite after those first few is less and less exciting to us. So slow it down and allow yourself to actually taste your food. You may find that you’re actually more satisfied with less food!
Listen to your body’s cues
Aka stop eating when you’re full. When we’re eating, the connection between our gut and our brain is like a couple in a long-distance relationship sending each other snail mail to communicate. It takes those messages a long time to get to the receiver and often those messages arrive too late. It truly takes about twenty minutes for our gut to tell our brain that we’re full. When we eat too fast, that message reaches our brain too late and we’re already at fullness level: Thanksgiving Day. Listen to the messages your body is sending you!
What are some ways you practice Mindful Eating?