Well basically it means two things:
1) Slowing your eating right down and actually chewing your food and
2) Paying attention to what you are eating, not focusing on anything else or being distracted.
For many people who are overweight, it is so easy to rush through meals, eat whilst on the go or whilst engaging in some other activity and then not actually realise exactly what you have put in your mouth or how much! When you eat like this you are not paying attention to what you are doing and you cannot hear your own body’s signal to tell you that you are full up! So what happens is that you don’t know how much you have eaten and your eating becomes out of control and you probably end up overeating.
Now the 5 tips that I am going to share with you today will help you to start eating more mindfully but my Diet Buddy Programme “How to Eat Chocolate and Still Lose Weight” will take you through a whole mindful eating process that you can easily adopt into your daily life, to support you in getting the results that you desire for your weight loss. If you would like more information about this very affordable, habit changing, on-line coaching programme, then do contact me at email@example.com
In the meantime, you can start the process of eating more mindfully right now with these 5 mindful eating tips:
- Slow down your eating. Put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls and chew your food at least 20 times before swallowing.When you give yourself a chance to eat slowly, you actually get a chance to notice and enjoy your food a lot more.
- Tune in to your feelings: Eating is a way to get a quick “feel good “fix for many of you. However, if you reach for foods that are unhealthy too much of the time, you will probably end up feeling a sense of instant gratification, followed by a feeling of disappointment or guilt. Next time you get the urge to eat for comfort, tune in to how you are feeling first and see if there is another alternative to dealing with your feelings other than reaching for that big slice of cake that you don’t really want!
- Lower stress: Stress hormones often stimulate the appetite and at the same time the stress hormone cortisol encourages the body to store fat, especially around the middle of your body. Try to keep your stress levels from increasing by practising meditation or breathing exercises. Physical exercise is also a good remedy for managing stress.
- Disconnect the distractions: It’s important to actually engage in the whole process of eating and paying attention to what you are eating. If you are watching television or eating whilst working on your computer, your focus of attention is on that rather than your food. Turn off the TV and step away from your computer. If you eat at your desk at work, you are more likely to snack later in the day.
- Concentrate on your food: focus on the activity of actually eating. Notice how much food is on your plate; notice how it tastes in your mouth; notice how you feel as you eat your food. Are there tastes that you don’t like? If you can, sit down at a table to eat and do this regularly. Training yourself that this is the place to eat ie at a table, will help you to stop grazing throughout the day.
You will be amazed at how these easy steps will transform your eating and it’s worth really putting these into practise. Remember you are in the process of creating a new habit and it will take some repetition. You may want to bear this in mind: the more you pay attention to your food, the more you enjoy it, the more satisfied you will feel and so you will eat less and the result is that you will feel full, enjoy what you are eating without deprivation and lose weight!