Mindful eating is something i’ve been doing for a while, but now I know the benefits of it, i’m even more aware and feel twice as good in my mind and body since doing this.
*Intuitive eating is a discipline that says no to traditional ‘dieting’ & is all about listening to your body’s own cues of when, what and how much to eat. It’s all about considering your mental and physical health holistically and not thinking of foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad' instead eating consistently (every 3-4 hours) with either snacks or meals.
In this post i’m sharing with you what I do (or don’t do) to be more mindful about what i’m putting into my body and how it’s making me feel.
It Starts The Night Before
If I don’t sleep well or i’m tired, i’m twice as hungry as I am on a normal day & crave all those foods that I know aren’t good for me. When you don’t get enough sleep, (less than 6 hours) your fat cells lose the ability to properly use insulin which can lead to a build up of fat. Whereas if you’re getting your 7-9 hours of sleep, your mind will be more refreshed and will be better at making decisions so you’d be more likely to reach for that piece of fruit in the office rather than the cake. So be mindful of how much sleep you’re getting as this may be effecting your health more than you think
Honour Your Hunger
One of the worst things I believe anyone can do when it comes to their eating habits, is get themselves to the point of excessive hunger [whether this be due to work, travelling etc] as this is when any thought of mindfulness will go out of the window & you will eat whatever you can find first, no matter how good or bad for you it is, just to curve the hunger. If I start to feel hungry, i’ll reach for something small, whether it be a yogurt, a date with nut butter, a glass of water or a handful of nuts. This way, you're eating something every few hours between your main meals so you will be able to swerve the 'starvation’ feeling.
This is something that has taken me a while to achieve & I’d either go one of two ways. If I was presented with a delicious looking roast dinner lets say, that was pilled high with food, i’d either not eat as much as I could/should eat because i’m so overwhelmed with the amount of food, or i’d eat far too much and feel utterly awful afterwards. But now that i’ve realised what my mind and body needs, if i’m out at a restaurant, i’ll try and opt for a dish that I know isn’t going to fill me up too much, or i’ll pick 2 or 3 things from the sides or starter part of the menu so it’s more tapas style which I enjoy so much more. But if i’m at home, my rule is to be able to see the sides of my plate and some of the bottom of my plate so this way I know I haven’t gotten too much to eat. So play around with your portion sizes and see what works for you.
Have A Break
This is something my Nanna mentioned to me quite a few years ago now and it’s something that has always stuck [& is probably one of the reasons my Nanna looks as wonderful as she does for her age!] She said that whether she’s eating a sandwich or a hot meal with cutlery, after every mouthful, she’ll either put her sandwich or cutlery down whilst she chews, and then pick up again once she’s swallowed. This allows you to really focus on what you’re eating, how it tastes, you're chewing it correctly and not gulping it down so you’re able to digest your food properly and feel satisfied once you're finished. This is also a super easy change to make, especially if you know you’re a fast eater and want to slow down.
Technology Free Zone
One of the biggest things when it comes to mindfulness at meal times, is that it should be a technology free zone. The last thing you want is to be distracted whilst you’re eating as this can make you unaware of how quickly you’re eating and you’re not fully concentrating or being mindful of your food. Of course, sometimes life gets in the way & it can’t be helped. But as and when you can, keep your phone away from the dinner table & try not to have the T.V on.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post, that you found it helpful & do let me know in the comments below what you thought!
Have a wonderful week!