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How you can eat more mindfully at meal time

Updated: Nov 23, 2020

The practice of mindful eating aims to challenge typical diet culture while encouraging you to respect your body, health and natural hunger cues.

Prior to eating:

The first step in eating more mindfully is asking yourself this one question before grabbing that meal or snack:

Where is this hunger coming from?

Distinguish between:

  • Physical hunger. The biological urge telling you to replenish nutrients using different signals, such as a growling stomach, fatigue, or irritability.

  • Emotional hunger. This is driven by emotional need. Sadness, loneliness, and boredom are some of the feelings that can create cravings for food, often comfort foods. Often followed up by feelings of guilt.

Will I really enjoy this? Or am I simply eating it because it is there.

Do I feel physical hunger? Or am I just eating because it is meal time or convenient.

If you are hungry…. EAT ! (this goes back to respecting your hunger or lack there of)

At mealtime the aim is to truly enjoy the experience and satisfaction of your food leading to reduced portion sizes and increase enjoyment at meal time.

During Meals:

  • Eat sitting not standing,

  • Limit distractions such as phone, laptop, TV etc.

  • If you were engaged in a stressful activity before a meal, give yourself time to decompress before eating.

  • Cook at Home rather than eating out- this leads to not only a greater sense of pride and creativity but allows you to connect with your food

  • Develop an appreciation for your food by buying it in its whole form (such as garlic head vs. minced garlic) or from a local farm.

In a research Study of 12,842 adults –2012 Ohio Medicaid Assessment Survey

– Adults who ate only home-made meals were 26% less likely to be obese.

– Those who never watched TV during meals were 37% less likely to be obese.

While you are eating:

  • Take the time to focus on the taste of the food, the texture, the smells, the process

  • Chew every bite fully, eat slowly.

  • Listen to your bodies satiety cues- do you feel full? If so.. Box the rest up for tomorrow

  • How did what you ate make you feel – Do you feel tired? Perhaps- you ate too much, or too heavy carbohydrate or perhaps you have a sensitivity to that food in particular.

  • Honor your health —The food you eat should taste good and make you feel good.

  • Remember that it’s your overall food patterns that shape your health. One meal or snack isn’t going to make or break your health.

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