The most common misconception about mindful eating is that many people believe that eating slowly and chewing food for a long time is the key to health and satisfaction. Actually, mindful eating isn’t only connected to your ability to recognize the nurturing opportunities through different food selection and preparation, but it also means being able to use all your senses while choosing food that is both nourishing and delicious. To put it simply, it’s the art of what we eat, how much we eat, the way we eat and why we eat certain foods. It’s our own level of awareness of how the food we choose affects our mind, body, surroundings and feelings. To become a mindful eater, you’ll have to learn how to engage all your senses and truly appreciate what’s served on the plate. Here are a few tips on how you can achieve that.
Always make time to eat even if you’re out of time
Due to our hectic lives, busy schedules and a constant rush to the office, we can’t manage to sit down and eat properly, especially in the morning. We often eat on the go and don’t have time to actually enjoy the food. Skipping breakfast is the biggest mistake you can make once the day has started. Why? Because it gives you the energy to get things done and helps you get the recommended daily values of nutrients which leads to better health. Plus, you’ll be less nervous and less hungry before lunchtime. In order to develop a healthy and mindful eating strategy, you’ll have to change your morning routine. Set the alarm to wake you up earlier, and take some time to prepare the food. There are tons of quick and simple meal ideas like savory oatmeal with an egg, chia seed toast, or even a fresh smoothie. Choose your favorite, and indulge at your own pace. The world can wait, right?
Sharing is caring
We all know how exhausting it gets when thinking what we’re going to cook for the next day. Living on your own and eating alone isn’t always the best way to truly enjoy the meal. If you’re too busy to shop for food and cook, you can always order healthy meals that are nutritionally balanced and perfectly portioned. By including your friends or family, together you can practice the art of mindful eating and have a little bonding time.
Find your own spot
Eating should never be a brief process. Also, you should never be eating in a car, on the way to work, or while standing at the kitchen counter. It has to be a dinner table where you can sit and enjoy the silence. Never do it in front of a TV or wherever your peace can be ruined. Having dinner at home is way different than being in a restaurant where you are surrounded by strangers, and aware of their presence. Being at home means you’re more relaxed and you can savor the food away from the public eye. As you eat, savor one bite at a time. This way, you won’t feel bloated and you’ll know exactly when it’s time to stop. Don’t forget that this is not a race, so chew it right, and enjoy your food hedonist status.
Odd the fifth deadly sin out
Gluttony – one’s worst enemy. Sometimes, it’s hard to keep calm when there’s so many delicious food and snacks in this world waiting to be consumed by our greedy eating habits. Yes, I’m talking about those people who basically inhale the food before even smelling it or taking a picture for their Instagram feed. But, you just have to focus and learn how to appreciate the moment, and chew the food rather than just devouring it. Before eating, take a deep breath and resist the urge to swallow everything in one bite. Mindful eating teaches us to notice the color of the food, taste, texture, and the sound it produces in our mouth. Also, be careful not to exaggerate with your food intake before going to bed, because there’s a great chance you’ll end up having nightmares or insomnia. Instead, eat light meals that promote better sleep. Once you decide to pay attention to these things, eating becomes a whole new experience.
There will always be people craving what you have in the fridge, while you’re taking it for granted. Some of you might find this very cliché, but it’s important to be grateful for the food on your table even if it’s something simple, like an apple or a chocolate bar. Express your gratitude every day, out loud or mentally in your head.
Always listen to your body
You might feel ecstatic while eating cheat meals such as fries, chicken nuggets or a bowl of ice cream, but your body reacts differently. No matter how much you enjoy certain food, the way you feel after eating tells a lot about their properties. The best-looking food isn’t always the healthiest, so you have to be careful with your diet.
Challenge yourself to implement these tips, and you’ll discover a whole new world of healthy eating and self-satisfaction. And who knows, maybe you will encourage others to accept the same behavior.