Many of you will have heard of Mindful Eating and some of you may already practice it. For those who haven’t, Mindful Eating is simply an approach to eating and a practice that can help us improve our relationship with food.
Most people don’t use hunger as a trigger to eat and fullness as a trigger to stop eating, and as a result, we often overeat. This is called mindless eating, and many of us do it on a regular basis. We eat in our car on the way to work, we eat at our desks while we’re working or studying, and we eat in front of the TV. In fact, it isn’t all that uncommon to finish a plate of food without truly experiencing, appreciating and enjoying what we just ate.
So Mindful Eating is about being fully present and in the moment, before, during and after we eat. It’s something every one of us, even those who are time poor, need to practice.
So as you approach your next meal, we encourage you to:
- Use actual hunger as a trigger to eat
- Minimise distractions when eating (turn off the TV, phone, laptop etc)
- Instead of eating while studying or working, take breaks at your snack and mealtimes – give food, even if it’s just a piece of fruit you’re eating, all your attention!
- Bring all of your senses to the table. Look at the food you’re about to eat, take in the smell, the texture, the feeling you get in your mouth and the taste of the food.
- Eat slowly and savour every mouthful
- And finally, listen to the signals your body is giving you. Eat until you’re satisfied or 80% full.
This article was written by the MasterFit Exercise and Nutrition Scientist, and is based on the Australian Dietary Guidelines, which can be found at www.eatforhealth.gov.au
Try practicing the 6 Mindful Eating steps above at every meal and snack for 24 hours. Write a few sentences reflecting on how you felt after your Mindful Eating experiences.