Besides eating the proper portions of quality food there are aspects of how we approach eating that can also help us live a much healthier, happier life. Mindful Eating can be understood as being much more present in the act of eating, focusing more on the food itself and avoiding simply shoveling it all in. Read on and enjoy Seven Tips for Mindful Eating!
- Take a moment. If you find yourself worked up or stressed before you sit down to eat try to take a moment and take a few deep breaths. Deep, belly breaths will increase the oxygen flow to our organs and help put us in a much calmer state improving digestion and nutrient absorption.
- Start your meal with gratitude. We don’t need to have religious intent to be grateful of our food. Taking a moment to smell your food and feeling grateful for being fortunate enough to have food to eat can boost serotonin and dopamine levels which aid in digestion as well as allow you to feel much happier and satisfied with your meal.
- Chew slowly. Sometimes we tend to be more focused on the next bite of food than the one currently in our mouth. Eating too quickly not only impedes our ability to enjoy our food it also affects digestion, nutrient absorption and much more! Try to chew every mouthful at least 30 times. This will help savour the taste of our food, assist in digestion and ultimately lead to a leaner physique and better health.
- Avoid fluids while eating. Drinking fluids with our meals puts our body in a state of chaos all the way from our mouths to our stomachs. There are important enzymes in our mouth that breaks down our food and important acids in our stomach used for digestion that become diluted when drinking fluids. The temperature of the fluid can also contradict the temperature of the food we’re eating and cause chaos in our body. Try to avoid fluids for 20 minutes before or after eating and if absolutely necessary try to just sip during meals.
- Avoid distractions. In modern times life can get so busy and the desire to multitask is stronger than ever. Often times we’ll start eating our food while watching television or sitting in front of a computer and before we know it our food is gone and we don’t even remember what it tasted like. Being focused completely on our food and avoiding distractions will help us eat slower, digest better and most importantly allow us to truly enjoy and appreciate our food. This will lead to more satisfaction, less cravings and improved health mentally and physically.
- Prepare your own food. Preparing our own food can help us appreciate the work and effort that went into creating an enjoyable meal. With the internet at our fingertips finding healthy, creative recipes is easier than ever. Cooking food can also burn up to 100 calories in 30 minutes!
- Eat with loved ones. Sharing our meals with friends and loved ones is a great way to strengthen our bonds, eat more slowly and enjoy foods much more. Cook your meals together, add in some gratitude, shut the television off and before you know it you’ll be practicing mindful eating with every meal!
By Ricky Goodall, Certified Nutrition Coach