Tips for Mindful Eating

Food has the potential to enhance lives and improve health, but there are also many factors that impact healthy eating – including how we eat.

Being mindful is a way to slow down your habits and really pay attention to what you’re putting into your body. Here are 5 tips to help you become a mindful eater and enjoy your food:

Take Time to Eat
Most people eat during a task, however this can trick your brain into assuming that you have not eaten – thus you will eat more and you will not enjoy the food taste or experience as much pleasure compared to if you were aware of the food you were eating.

Tip: Carve time out of your day to eat, and remove any form of distraction – computer, papers/files, books and/or cell phone.

Cook More Often
Not only will you have full awareness of what you are eating and less chance of hidden fats, you will also enjoy and take ownership of the meal you made, and this alone creates a sense of enjoyment. There’s a great book called The Blue Zone which highlights the fact that all cultures with long lifespans cook more and eat at home more! They enjoy the preparation of food from the growth in the garden to the preparation to table.

Tip: Dig out some old cookbooks and commit to trying a new recipe once a week!

Enjoy What You’re Eating
So many of us dread the thought of a diet because we fear the food will not be enjoyable. I personally believe that healthy food can be enjoyable, the key is to embrace the foods, become aware of their potential, and understand the diversity of preparation.

Tip: Eating a chicken salad day after day can be boring, simple twists like the addition of textures, colours, and flavours can make that salad pleasurable every time you eat it.

Eat Meals With Others
Eating alone is never fun, but add a few people and great conversation, and now your meal becomes an event! My family consists of five people, and my kids are at a really busy age. However we have a rule that we will eat one meal together a day, and it’s not always dinner. We use our communal meal as a way to express our highs and lows of the day, and to joke and laugh.

Tip: A state of happiness is not only blissful, but it also has a positive impact on your stress levels and this, in turn, will strengthen your digestion.

Eat Slowly & Thoughtfully
Notice when you feel full, and don’t rush when eating out. Put your knife and fork down between bites and chew your food thoroughly.

Tip: Eating slowly should allow you to experience all of the aromas, textures, flavours and tastes within your meal, and really appreciate what you are consuming.

Written by Patsy Commisso of MCC Weight Solutions

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