We have all been there—that moment when you start snacking and you realize you just devoured the entire box of cookies or bag of chips. What would you do if you found out that you could have prevented that binge session by adopting the practice of mindful eating?
We admit, it's sounds much easier said than done. Becoming more aware of what we put into our bodies, however, may help us to make healthier choices in the long run. And doesn't that sound amazing? Just ask the expert, Michele Promaulayko—editor-in-chief at Yahoo and former vice president and editor-in-chief of Women's Health magazine: "In a 2013 Kent State University study, researchers found that mindfulness strategies — for example, paying close attention to the taste and smell of food, and attending to hunger and fullness — significantly increased people’s satiety after a meal."
Five mindful eating tips you can try or share with your client today!
Remember that food should be savored
Taking the time to enjoy each meal is one of best ways to achieve your goal weight and even boost your appreciation for food. Think of it this way, when you get lost in an activity—such as driving to work or chatting with a friend—you lose the focus you should have used to concentrate on each meal. When you focus on what you're doing in that moment, you're more likely to realize once you have become full, thus preventing yourself from overeating and gaining weight.
We live in a technology-driven world where it's socially acceptable to text, send or respond to emails and binge on social media—all while enjoying a three-course meal. But you don't have to let yourself fall victim to this bad habit. This is also referred to as "mindless eating." People who engage with technology during a meal or snack while they watch a movie often consume more than they need. If you can't live without a snack at the movie theatre, consider purchasing something healthy instead of popcorn and candy.
Appreciate the flavors of each meal
In today's busy world, we don't always have time to sit down and enjoy each meal in the way it was intended. When you make a conscious effort, however, to take just a minute out of each meal to pay attention to the flavors of your favorite dish or afternoon snack you will learn to appreciate the food on your plate. Lastly, focusing on the flavors of a healthy dish vs. artificial junk food, for example, may help you make healthier meal choices.
"Connect" with your food
"Mindfulness is really about rekindling a relationship with our food," says Jenni Grover of MNN. "From planting a veggie garden through baking bread to visiting a farmers market, many of the things we locavores have been preaching about for years are not just ways to cut our carbon foodprint, but also connect with the story behind our food." So before you venture off on your next trip to the grocery store, consider stopping by the farmers market or local co-op first and picking up a few things for your next meal.
Check in with yourself
Before you head in to the kitchen, ask yourself how hungry you are. Are you just eating out of boredom? Or are you truly hungry. When you get in the habit of snacking out of boredom it will be much more difficult to drop it, but if you only snack or whip up a meal when you're truly hungry you can prevent yourself from overeating and, of course, packing on avoidable pounds.