National Nutrition Month: 3 Tips for Mindful Eating!
Many of us are used to eating our meals as quickly as possible so we can get back to work, school, or other activities. IT’S TIME to change our mindsets! Make your meals a priority in your day as a time to unwind, clear your mind, and nourish your body.
Mindful eating is learning to eat with attention and intention. Eating with attention means acknowledging the food you are putting into your body and focusing on the feelings and thoughts you have while eating a meal. You should also be aware of how hungry or full you are before and after meals.
Eating with intention means you are purposeful with the food you choose to put on your plate. Your goal is to provide nutrition for your body through healthier foods. Eating with intention may require some research about where your food is coming from and what the benefits are of eating it.
In celebration of National Nutrition Month, we are sharing three simple steps toward mindful eating. These small changes can make a difference in the way you enjoy your food.
No Electronics Allowed
We are always multitasking and dividing our attention among multiple screens and conversations. Our minds are busy and cluttered, so start to practice giving attention to one thing at a time. It’s difficult to focus on your food with the distraction of electronics. Turn off the TV and put away your cell phone before you begin eating your meal. You will be able to give your attention to your food and your family. If you are eating by yourself, the silence is a great environment to clear your mind.
How long does it usually take you to finish a meal? Many of us rush through mealtime as if it were a race. This leads to eating more food than necessary and feeling too full or bloated later. We recommend slowing down during your meals. Take your time with each bite, and put down the fork to take short breaks or drink a sip of water. When you eat slower, your body has time to signal when you are full. You will also avoid the uncomfortable feeling of eating too much at one time.
Savor the Flavor
When we are chewing and swallowing food quickly, we aren’t appreciating the flavor. Put your taste buds to work! While you are eating, concentrate on the taste and texture of your food. When you pay more attention to your food, you will understand which flavors you love and which flavors you dislike. Discovering why you enjoy certain foods can help you make healthier choices. Often times, we may realize unhealthier foods do not taste as great as we thought. We will also see that they leave us feeling worse throughout the day.
We hope these tips will jumpstart your journey to more mindful eating habits. Print out our Healthy Eating Tips for other ideas and suggestions for a healthier plate!