There are very few people that eat mindfully, and it shows. The obesity rate for those over 20 years of age is 40% in the United States! In Canada, the number is around 30%. If you could stand to lose a few pounds, mindful eating is a viable solution.
What is mindful eating? In a nutshell, mindful eating is eating only when youâre hungry and stopping when youâre full. It is also putting your full attention on the eating experience.
Most people donât eat mindfully. Theyâre watching TV, talking, playing on their phone, or thinking about something else while they eat. These are habits that lead to overeating and weight gain.
Try these tips to do your health and waistline a favor by eating mindfully:
1. Start with mindful shopping. Avoid the tendency to just automatically buy the same things youâve always bought at the store. Instead, ask yourself whether or not an item supports your health goals before placing it into your shopping cart. Be mindful of each item you choose to take home with you.
2. Remove distractions. Eat with minimal distractions. Turn off the TV. Put your phone away. Close your book. Ideally, you wonât even talk during a meal. Clear away all the distractions and just eat.
3. Start with a reasonable amount of food. The more food you put on your plate, the more youâre likely to eat. Start with about â of your normal amount. You can always go back for seconds if youâre still hungry.
4. Put your full attention on your meal. Keep your thoughts on the experience of eating. This isnât the time to think about work, your boss, your significant other, kids, or bills. Relax and focus your thoughts on eating.
5. Chew slowly and thoroughly. The faster you eat, the more youâll eat. It takes a while for your brain to get the signal that youâre full. Eating slowly will help to prevent overeating. Take your time and chew slowly. The food isnât going anywhere. Give yourself the chance to enjoy it.
6. Focus on the taste. Unhealthy foods often taste great if eaten quickly. Many of them arenât so delicious if eaten slowly. Also, many healthy foods are more enjoyable if eaten more slowly. Really notice the flavor of your food.
â¦ Hereâs an interesting experiment. Take a piece of sweet fruit that you enjoy. It could be an orange or a small bunch of grapes. Eat the food very slowly and keep your attention on the flavor. Youâll find that itâs not easy to finish the entire fruit. Fruit is natureâs dessert.
â¦ Now, take an unhealthy food and do the same thing. Youâll find itâs not that appetizing. Unhealthy foods are designed to be enjoyable when eaten quickly, since thatâs how most people eat.
7. Only eat when youâre actually hungry. Thereâs no reason to wait until youâre ravenous. However, thereâs also no reason to eat if youâre not hungry. Allow yourself to feel hunger before eating. If you eat when youâre not hungry, your waistline and your health quickly take a nosedive.
8. Be grateful for your food. Have gratitude for the food youâre eating. Itâs a privilege to have plenty to eat. Youâre luckier than most of the worldâs population. Gratitude is a part of mindfulness.
Mindfulness is paying attention to your emotions, surroundings, and actions. Itâs a type of self-awareness. Few people eat mindfully. We multitask while eating, and the result is overeating. This is extremely unhealthy, and itâs simply not an enjoyable way to eat.
Much of the eating experience is lost if youâre not paying attention. Eat mindfully and notice the impact it has on your life.