Imagine yourself sitting down to dinner at a restaurant or at home. What were your surroundings like, think mood, ambience, smells- anything going through your mind. Now think of a time you ate on your own during the work/school week. How were those two experiences different? Mindful eating involves being aware of every aspect of our experience with food. By paying close attention to how and what we nourish ourselves with, we can better our health.
Here are a few steps to start:
#1 Make time for meals
Sit down with your food at the table, preferably with others. During the week we are busy and rushed. Meal times can be a time to slow down and relax.
#2 Be prepared
Give careful thought to what you want to eat and how you are going to get it. What foods are going to help you feel your best?
#3 Remove Distractions
That means no cell phones, laptops, TV, etc. at the table.
#4 Use Your Senses
Take your time to savor each bite. Notice the smell, texture, and taste using all of your senses.
What textures do you notice?
What flavors do you recognize?
What feelings come up with each bite?
What colors do you see?
Smell the food. This begins the digestive process.
If we really pay attention, we’re less likely to overeat and feel the after effects later on.
#5 Don’t feel the need to finish your plate
Observe your body’s natural cues and notice what it feels like physically and mentally when you have had enough food.
We can learn to listen to our bodies and trust that they know what we need. This is by no means an easy process and can take time to make baby steps forward. By eating more mindfully, we can learn to enjoy our food and keep ourselves healthy.
How has eating mindfully helped you slow down? Leave a comment below.