“So often, even when we stop to say a blessing before a meal, we’re mentally preparing to spoon some pasta or potatoes onto our plates. We’re not usually focused on the present moment, simply placing ourselves before our food and entering into the still, slow space where eating is done for eating’s sake and not something we do simply to get to the next thing on our list.”– Mary Proust
I can only speak about what I know and see, so, here in America everything is always rush rush rush. Get caught in busy rush hour for a hot minute and the horns all honking tell you everyone is always in a rush. We multi-task while we eat and we eat on the go. Even when families get together for dinner it’s hurried through like an Olympic event. Those who work from home find ourselves eating at our desk, too often mindlessly. Are we full? Are we still hungry? Who knows, our attention is on our work silly! Work from home people tend to be snackers and grab unhealthy pre-packaged quick options to get back to what’s really on their mind, work. Then there are others who try an curb a craving by eating other things, then a bit later the craving is still there so we eat more of something else, etc… Why not just eat an intentional and mindful slice of the cake instead and not go through the frustration and all the calories added on by trying to avoid eating said cake in the first place??? And Mom’s, oh Mom’s you don’t have to eat what’s on your kids plate! Continue reading for some tips and motivation to help you begin to eat and create a mindful intuitive atmosphere around nutrition!
Webster’s Dictionary defines mindfulness as, “the practice of maintaining a non-judgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.”
1.Don’t Diet –Create a life where you have a nutrition plan, not a diet. Diets are rarely successful long term, and that’s what you want right? Long term loss of the weight you carry. So set yourself up with living a life with a nutrition plan set in place. I can help you with 2 different styles of nutrition plans; Ultimate Portion Control and the 2B Mindset.
2. Fuel Your Body Thoughtfully – Keeping your body fed with nutritionally dense foods with, the right energy producing fruits and carbs, building block proteins, nutrient absorbing fats, and a diet rich in vegetables that will help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar, which can help keep appetite in check, is what your body needs to fuel itself efficiently! If you don’t honor this throughout the day you will binge and you will overeat. Your body craves healthy nutrition to function optimally! Eat mindfully, with moderation.
3. Food is not your enemy– And if you deny yourself that occasional slice of cake, pint of beer or dinner roll long enough eventually you will binge and then be filled with regret. Learn how to make sweets, treats, baked goods, etc.. fit into your nutrition plan with a few recipe tweaks and breathing a little leeway for that glass of wine once in a while.
4. Challenge the People Who Give you Super Restrictive Solutions – You are not bad for eating that slice of cake. And you can’t sustain on a juice diet very long before your body starts taking the lack of nutrients as a sign it’s ill and needs to stop. Don’t be dipping lower calorie than you should for height, weight, and activity or you will have lower energy and you will push your organs to work harder than they should.
5. Discover True SatisfactionIn Eating – You can do this by eating slower and more mindfully. Savor the bites, really enjoy your meal. And eating slower and feeling satisfied will allow you to feel the signal that you’re full much easier.
6. Feel Your Fullness – Feel comfort in being satisfied. Don’t go over that point, another reason to eat mindfully slow! Enjoy the primal feeling of being sated.
7. Cope with Your Emotions Head On – Treat the cause with solutions directly related to the cause, not by what’s right in front of you (food). If you’re lonely, join a club, find ways to meet more people. If you’re sad, do things to uplift your mood (exercise is amazing for endorphins). You want things fixed right? Not just swept under the carpet for tomorrow. Don’t compound problems you face by with creation of another.
8. Respect Your Body – Love it for where it’s at right now. Love it like you would a child who can’t remember their abc’s. Respect your body type, dieting will not get you a models hips if you were born with wide hips. It’s that simple. Strive for health not an idealized perception of a perfect body type.
9. Daily Movement – Just move. You can walk, run, do workout programs, climb rock walls, etc.. I don’t care, just move and move daily and then start moving a little more, etc… You will feel a shift. You will start to feel lighter, feel stronger and feel happier because your body is doing what it should and of course you are stimulation endorphins!!
10. Honor Your Health – Nutrition + exercise + restful sleep + self care + mental health, they all go together like a well oiled machine. And they should all be done mindfully and with patience in yourself. Your goal is progress, not perfection. Perfection is an illusion!
Mindful eating is all about getting in tune with your body. These tips can help you start to choose foods that’ll make you feel good and actually enjoy the process of eating.
Pause before you eat to ask yourself why you’re eating
Take a moment to notice how your body feels. Is your stomach grumbly? Do you feel lightheaded or tired? Are you thirsty? Consider your environment as well. Are you bored? Do you feel the urge to procrastinate on work? So much of eating happens without awareness, the pause itself allows eating to be more purposeful.
Chew each bite thoroughly and savor it
Consider the fact that there are times when you inhale your food and barely taste it, either out of extreme hunger or craving it so badly you eat it super fast without really enjoying it or just habit of fast eating. My husband is a fast eater and developed this habit from when he was single and gamed a lot, eating dinner, yep at his pc. Not only can this hinder proper digestion, it also means you miss out on the complex textures and flavors of your food which doesn’t allow you to really make eating an experience. Think of how wine coinsurers savor the wine from aroma, to color, to taste, to swallow. It makes the experience joyful AND satisfying. When you chew well, you register each salty, sour, or sweet flavor as it hits your mouth, which helps you savor your food more thoroughly. This also slows down the eating process giving your digestive system the ability to work efficiently. Resist the urge to wolf down your food; instead, focus on eating one small bite at a time and chewing it completely before you swallow it.
Whenever possible, choose colorful, fresh, unprocessed foods for your meals and snacks in the proper portions. Since mindful eating teaches you to notice the subtle flavors in foods by slowing down and taking small bites, you’ll develop a better taste and appreciation for naturally healthy, whole foods. This could ultimately entice you to choose carrots with a natural sweetness over a sugary treat, or whip up some vegetables because you love the flavor instead of drowning them in dressing or cheese.
Eat without distractions
Close your laptop, switch off the TV, and step away from your desk. Mindful eating is about focusing solely on the food in front of you, not your emails, a magazine, or the latest episode of New Girl. Even listening to music or podcasts can be too distracting — research shows that the noise your food makes when you eat can significantly influence how much food you consume. This “Crunch Effect” suggests you’re likely to eat less if you’re aware of the sounds you make as you eat. When you drown out that noise with earphones, though, you can end up consuming more. Start to look at eating as a form of meditation or even intention setting. It’s challenging to eat mindfully — to savor your food and notice your body’s satiety signals — if your attention is scattered. The research agrees: Eating while distracted can lead to overeating, while attentive eating can help you lose weight.
Wait before getting seconds
It takes your brain about 20 minutes to receive the signal from your gut that you’re full. It’s easy to overeat in that small window of time, which is why it’s a good idea to take a break before loading up your plate for round two. Give yourself the chance to feel the fullness.
When you feel the urge to snack, make a cup of tea first
Sometimes we confuse hunger with the need for oral sensation fulfillment. In other words, oftentimes you aren’t actually hungry, you’re just craving the ritual of indulging in something. So, make yourself a cup of tea. Try black or green tea for a boost of caffeine, peppermint or unsweetened hibiscus for a strong flavor, or rooibos tea with fresh lemon, ginger, and apple cider. The process of boiling the water, steeping the tea, and sipping it usually cancels out the urge to snack!
What are you craving? Take note!
If you’re practicing mindful eating for the first time, use a journal to record how you’re feeling, identify your cravings, and make note of when and where you’re eating. Recognizing your cravings when they happen and make a conscious, thoughtful decision whether to indulge or not. Not just that, but taking note of your eating habits and environment can help you figure out what you need to adjust to eat more mindfully.
Eat with joy, not judgment
When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s easy to become so concerned with what and how much you eat that you forget to actually enjoy your food. Of course, it’s important to understand the nutritional value of the things you’re putting in your body, but if you’re overly preoccupied with counting calories, you’re likely to experience a lot of self-imposed guilt and judgment. The Ultimate Portion Fix and the 2B Mindset are both designed to eliminate the need to count anything for than containers (UPF). Instead of approaching meals with dread or fear that you might overeat, approach them with a sense of joy and excitement. Savor each delicious, healthy bite and revel in the process of nourishing yourself and taking care of your body.
When you’re kind to yourself and take genuine pleasure in eating, you’re more likely to honor your body and eat only to the point of fullness. If you would like to talk more about getting set up on a nutrition program, click the photo below and we’ll set up a time to talk!