I'm sure, by now, you have heard of mindful eating. But, have you tried it? Do you know what it is or how it works?
Let's take a step back for a moment and define mindfulness. Mindfulness is a practice that involves being present and aware of what is happening right now, in this moment. It can be applied to all sorts of scenarios like during exercise, at work, writing a paper, brushing your teeth, and even eating. For the sake of keeping this post concise and on topic, I will be focusing on just the eating aspect of mindfulness. But, leave a comment letting me know what other topics you'd like to learn how to apply mindfulness to and if it fits within the context of this blog, I just might do another post about it!
To apply a mindfulness technique to your eating routine is very simple...you slow down. Ok, you're right, that is not so easy! Just ask my husband, when I am hungry, I tend to eat VERY fast. So fast, sometimes, that I have finished my bowl of food before my brain and stomach have even registered that I have eaten!
I know I am not the only one who gets like this, so I have created a checklist of 5 things to keep in mind while I enjoy a meal. Before we get into that, though, I want to let you know that you do not have to do all of these at every meal, unless you are ready for it! For most of us, it is beneficial to start with being aware of just one of the items below for a few weeks. Once your body and mind get comfortable with this new task during meal time, it will be easier to keep introducing more. Just like with exercise, you don't want to take on too much in the beginning. This can lead to stress and burnout which will mitigate the positive effects this practice can have on health like improved digestion and absorption of nutrients.
So, without further adieu, here are my top 5 tips for Mindful Eating:
Have you practiced mindful eating before? Let me know what has worked for you in the comments!