When it comes to eating, mindfulness helps amplify the volume of your body’s cues so you can hear loud and clear when you are hungry and full.
Eating mindfully is all about paying attention, and it is hard to pay attention when you are distracted, right? So, put away the phone and shut off the television so you can focus on your meal. Some might suggest that you sit down while eating to better ensure that you are focusing on your meal instead of other tasks. Here are some mindful eating tips that can enable you to relish your food along with eating just the right amount that you need.
Chew Several Times
Chewing slowly is probably the simplest and most effective exercise that you can do to develop the habit of eating mindfully. 25 chews per bite are recommended, but anything over 20 chews should be good. The most important part is that you choose a number and count your chews until you reach it.
Make Eating Difficult
Using the non-dominant hand (which for 90% of us is our left) to feed yourself is a great way to force yourself to pay attention to what you’re doing. It might be too much to do this for every meal, but trying it for breakfast and snacks is a good time to start.
Pause between Each Bite
Another mindful eating tip is putting your spoon down between bites; it is an excellent complement to the chewing habit. The act of setting your spoon down forces you to focus on chewing your food rather than letting yourself to mindlessly pick at your plate for your next bite. It also encourages you to slow down, instead of just shoveling it down your throat as quickly as possible.
Stop When You Feel Full
Do you know when you feel full? Are there stages of fullness or do you just suddenly realize that you cannot eat another bite. Try paying attention to your body during mealtime to see if you really want to take more food. This mindful eating exercise works great in boosting metabolism.
Differentiate between Hunger and Thirst
Do you know what real hunger is or when you might actually just be thirsty? If not, for a few days try drinking a glass of water each time you think you are hungry to see if you notice any differences in how you feel afterwards. You may just be filling your body with foods when you are not even hungry.
Pay Attention to Food
Pay attention to how you feel while you are preparing your meal, when eating it as well as once you have finished. Pay attention to your emotions and mood changes. Since we know that many of us eat as an emotional response, it can be helpful to focus on how we feel when we are eating too.
Be thankful. You do not have to say a prayer to be thankful for your food. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a great meal on the table each day.
Savor the Meal
Trying to taste and identify all the different ingredients in your meal is another great way to focus on the present moment and eat more mindfully. This is particularly fun to do at restaurants when you didn’t make the food yourself. With this mindful eating tip, you can get more creative with your cooking.
Mindful eating is just a mindset which allows you to relax, enjoy and be in the moment with your food.
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