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6 Simple Tricks To Being More Mindful
Discover ways to replace mindless eating with mindful choices.
Do you stuff down a sandwich in front of a computer screen while preparing for your next meeting? I am guilty of it occasionally, too, but I have learned to try to control this by being aware and mindful of the food I am putting in my body.
“Mindful eating is not a diet,” says Dr. Susan Albers, author of “But I Deserve This Chocolate!” According to Albers, “There are no menus or recipes. It is being aware of your eating habits, the sensations that you experience when you eat, and emotions that you have about food. It is more about how you eat than what you eat.”
I recently attended the Florida Dietetic Association Annual Meeting where I listened to Dr. Albers speak on mindful eating. She organized an eye-opening activity involving Hershey kisses. She asked participants to put a chocolate in our mouth and try to make it last as long as possible—while paying attention to how it felt and tasted on our tongue. It took me 2 minutes to eat my Hershey kiss! That’s a long time compared to the 5 seconds it usually takes me to down one!
Not that I want all your food to melt in your mouth, but next time you sit down at a meal try to pay attention to your food as it can help prevent overeating and even help manage your weight. Pick one meal a day to try to follow these six simple tricks to jumpstart your mindful eating practices!
- Stop multitasking at meals: Stop the emails! Forget the phone calls! Set aside time to eat your meals daily and be engaged in what you are putting in your mouth. Food is too good and the calories add up too quickly to consume them without fully enjoying them.
- Eat at the table (not the car, desk, or couch): By sitting at a table designated for eating, you can give your meal your undivided attention.
- Appreciate the appearance: Take
the time to notice the beauty of the food we eat. Whether it’s that turkey
sandwich or leftover spaghetti, enjoy everything your meal has to offer.
- Focus on each mouthful: Pay
attention to the flavor and texture of your food. Savor each bite!
- Chew your food: Make sure you take
the time to chew your food all the way so that it is broken down before
you swallow. Try to also put your utensil down in between each bite.
- Talk and share: Enjoy pleasant conversation on a lunch date with a friend or a sit-down dinner with your family. Talking in between each bite will reduce overeating and help your brain to register fullness.
Instead of eating a pint of ice cream in front of the tube (mindless eating), practice being mindful today!