All of us are moving through life at warp speed these days and thinking multitasking is a normal part of life. Everything is done so fast that it’s all mindless, especially our eating habits. Most of us can’t remember what we ate two hours ago, and wonder why we’re fat and overweight?
If you really want to lose those extra pounds and keep it off, the very first step is adopting mindful eating practices. Learning to be conscious of and focus on the sensations and purpose of every bite of food is the gateway to taking control of your health, diet, and weight. The 9 tips below are basic and easy enough for anyone to implement, so take a look and get started today.
1. Start With A Grocery List
Making a grocery list keeps your taste buds from leading you through the grocery store. With a list you can start tossing only the best foods in your shopping cart. Foods for a diet that revolves around fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy oils, nuts, and seeds.
2. Eat When You’re Hungry, Not Starving
Mindful eating means eating instead of skipping meals. It means to have regular meal times that you adhere to religiously, not eating just because you are hungry at night. Scheduling meals for the same time day after day, gives you a chance to know if you are hungry, and if the food is satisfying.
3. Separating Emotional Eating from Hunger
Once you get in tune with your body and mind, it will be easy to know if you want to eat from stress, frustration, loneliness, boredom, or if you are hungry. Mindful eating is paying attention to your body and recognizing and differentiating hunger from emotional cravings.
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4. Think About Food Makes You Feel
Whether you are eating a meal or a snack, it’s important to reflect on how it makes you feel, and don’t forget it’s the small changes that count for losing weight. What if you just ate a large helping of carbs? How does that make you feel? Are you feeling good or a little dismayed at yourself? The real key is to think about it while you are chewing. Will it make you feel good when you are finished?
5. Stopping When You Are Full
When you first start mindful eating, you may not recognize the signals your body is sending you. However, in time, you will get back in touch with your body saying it’s full, and time to stop. Chewing each bite 20-30 times and putting the utensils down between every bite is key.
6. Distractions vs Mindful Eating
Eating with a phone is insane to start with, and certainly has nothing to do with thinking about what you are putting in your mouth. Don’t read a book, watch TV, or anything other than sit quietly and focus on each bite, and how it will affect your hunger, stomach, body, and energy.
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7. Focus on The Taste
Just like we don’t remember what we ate last, we rarely remember what our food taste like. If you eat by yourself, close your eyes and savor the taste of every bite. Taste the herbs, spices, flavors, and textures. Reflecting on the experience as you eat puts you in control.
8. Only Eat At The Table
Forget eating in front of the TV on the sofa or favorite chair. I can assure you there’s no chance of mindfulness while watching TV. Just like eating only at scheduled times, eating at the table every time you eat, develops the habit of conscious eating.
9. Start Slow
Old habits are hard to change, so the best way to start is to dedicate one meal a day to practice mindful eating. If you can stick to a dedicated meal every day for a month, you will see a real change in how you think about eating, and it will naturally move to the rest of your meals and life.
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It may not be easy to find just the right formula to curb your appetite naturally, but it’s completely doable. There’s a lot of ways to incorporate mindful eating into your life, but making the decision to switch to a healthy diet is probably the first step.
Increasing the healthy foods in your diet naturally puts you in control of your cravings and hunger. The foods we were meant to eat will reduce cravings and binge eating that promotes weight gain.
Living in a fast moving multi tasking mindset, has us eating far beyond the point of satisfying hunger and the need for food. We’ve turned into a society of binge eaters gorging on food with no exercise. That food gorging causes us to lose the ability to recognize when our stomachs are full.
Practicing mindful eating until it becomes a real habit will alleviate the need for food and cravings between meals. This way of eating while fully conscious of what you are doing has little choice but to direct you to dining on more healthy foods instead of living on junk.
You will naturally pay closer attention to your body and what you are eating when mindful eating habits take over your lifestyle.