In this busy world, we often eat things just because it’s meal time, snack time, or just from habit. Putting a bit of thought to every time and everything we eat could help us stick to diet goals.
To give you an idea of eating mindfully, although it wouldn’t be practical to eat all your food this way, try taking a small piece of food that you enjoy. Look at it, noting its colour and texture, then take time to smell it and touch it, using one sense at a time. Close your eyes and begin eating. Roll the food round in your mouth, feel its texture, notice the flavour and how both change as it softens in your mouth. Very slowly start to chew it, again taking notice of its changing taste and texture, and finally swallow it.
Before you decide it’s time to eat, try rating your hunger on a scale from 1 to 10, it will give you an idea of what your body really needs. Perhaps you are not even hungry, habit told you it was time to eat.
Think about what is in your food, read the breakdown of ingredients – fat, sugar and calories, before deciding whether or not to eat it.
The best way is to plan out meals in advance, that way you will already know how healthy your menu is.
Always make sure you sit at a table to eat. Take time to enjoy the food, eating in small mouthfuls, chewing well and savouring each forkful.
We tend to eat at the same rate as people around us, so if eating with other people try to sit next to the slowest eater.
If you’re eating alone don’t be tempted to eat in front of the TV or computer, or reading, as distractions like this stop us from focussing on our food and not eating mindfully.
Sipping water between mouthfuls will slow down your eating and help you taste each mouthful separately.
And lastly listen to your body – just eat until you are no longer hungry not until you are full, there is a difference and it could make a difference to your diet!