Your Guide to Mindful Eating
Practicing mindful eating can be a game changer for improving your eating habits and tuning into your body in order to nourish it with the foods it wants. This simple practice is just that- a practice, something that you can do each time you eat, checking in with your body on how the foods that you are eating make you feel. Mindful eating can also help improve digestion- when you take time to eat, slow down and pay attention to your body, your body will respond better to the food you are eating.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, mindful eating is a great practice to incorporate into your holiday. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with indulging during the holidays, making conscious decisions to enjoy your food, and eat what your body wants in that moment can help us feel good about our choices. It’s so important to allow yourself to truly enjoy food around the holidays. Meals around a table with loved ones are where special memories are created. Mindful eating can help you focus less on any pressure or guilt around food, and more on quality time while sharing a meal with loved ones.
Here are a few easy ways to start practicing mindful eating:
Practice taking 5 deep breaths before you begin eating, with a longer breath on the exhale. Deep breathing helps put your nervous system into parasympathetic mode, the “rest and digest” mode where your body is best able to digest foods.
2. “Tune in”
Tune in to your hunger level before the meal. Are you starving? Neutral? Paying attention to how you feel before you start eating can help you learn your body cues and create awareness around hunger/fullness.
3. Slow Down!
Pay attention to what you are eating and how it tastes. Chew your food fully and thoroughly.
Limit distractions- leave your phone away from the table and turn your tv off. It’s very easy to eat mindlessly when you are multitasking and paying attention to something else. Focus on the people you are enjoying your meal with, the conversations you are having, and the food you are sharing.
4. Explore Meditation
Use a meditation for mindful eating- you can find guided mindful eating meditations on Youtube, and apps like Headspace.
5. Engage All of Your Senses
Don’t just focus on taste. How does your food smell? What textures can you feel in your mouth?
6. Observe Habits
Observe your eating habits without judgement- if you do nothing else, do this. It’s a great place to start.
7. Set Down Your Fork
Each time you take a bite, put your fork back on your plate. Enjoy your food and take time to consider how you feel between bites.
8. “Tune in” Again
Once you are done, tune in with yourself again. Are you satisfied? Full? How did what you eat make you feel?
These tools can be used throughout the holidays and afterwards. The more you practice, the more natural it feels and the more intune with your body you become. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving babes!
Xx, My Girl