3 Mindful Eating Tips

The holidays are a tough time to pay attention to what you are eating.

Family and friends along with a change from normal routine can make a mindful eating practice more complex.

Our normal routines got pushed to the side for a few days to focus on spending time with family and friends that came down to visit us. However, once they left, hoping back into our mindful eating practice is challenging.

As beginners, we are still working on making this way of life a habit.

Research shows, mindful eating skills — like paying close attention to our bodies’ hunger cues and learning to savor food — can help change unhealthy eating patterns and lose weight.

Mindful Eating vs. Intuitive Eating:

This has been the first year that our visitors have had the experience of meeting our chickens.

Consistently, the question came up regarding how we can own chickens and still be able to eat chicken meat without feeling tremendous personal conflict.

I realized, there is another aspect to our practice that needed attention. Guilt.

An intuitive eater is defined as a person who “makes food choices without experiencing guilt or an ethical dilemma, honors hunger, respects fullness and enjoys the pleasure of eating.”

Although conscious eating and mindful eating are sometimes used interchangeably, intuitive eating is an older concept that sometimes uses mindful eating practices.

Choosing when, where, and how much to eat (sometimes daunting tasks) can become less stressful as you transition away from habitual ways of thinking about eating. Both mindful and intuitive eating are great practices to improve your relationship with food and build healthier eating habits.

Tips:

Here are a few tips we are going to try to get us back on track:

1) Challenge: Distractions

Tip: Looking at our phones or television while eating distracts from paying attention to our food are common distractions. Transition to sitting outside and watching things around us while eating. That will help ease the change to simply focusing on the experience we are having with our food.

2) Challenge: Eating too fast

Tip: Track your food with a journal to help with not taking the time to pay attention to the moment of eating. Pausing to note your food experience helps with slowing down and remembering the details.

3) Challenge: Difficulty picking the right food

Tip: Select foods with depth and balance. Food balancing sweet, spicy, and tart, that can give you a complete experience in a bowl. Examples include chili or curry sauces. Also, add water during meals instead of waiting until the end to enhance the experience.

Have you started a mindful eating practice? If not, why not start now? There’s nothing to lose — except for weight and guilt. You might be surprised by the things you learn about yourself on this journey.


Originally published at www.citybornsouthernliving.com on July 12, 2017.