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Mindful Eating In Reality

I came across this article regarding the realities of Mindful Eating & wanted to share because I understand where we can feel challenged at the prospect of incorporating Mindful Eating into our lives on a regular basis.

We only derive the amazing health benefits of Mindfulness & Mindful Eating if we practice regularly to reinforce the skills.  Time is often listed as one of the main barriers to success – making Mindful Eating a priority can seem like ‘one more thing’ on an already long list of things to do each & every day.

This is where Mindset & Motivation come in.  Our brain is the most powerful tool in our bodies.  What we think is how we will behave.  If we don’t think something is possible it won’t be.  Combine a healthy Mindset with & clear understanding of our Motivation for why making changes to our health & well being are so important.  How motivated are you to make these changes?  10/10?  8/10?  5/10?  When the cause truly means something to you & the vision is clear, the daily tasks become easier to complete.

In this Sonima article author Brian Sabin realistically describes his first foray into Mindful Eating & provides tips for making Mindful Eating more doable on a daily basis:

My first time trying a mindful eating exercise, I spent nearly half an hour eating a single clementine. Consuming the fruit so slowly and deliberately definitely gave me a better appreciation for its taste and texture. But it also left me feeling like, “Welp, there’s no way I’ll be able to do this on a normal day.” I’m a working parent of two, which means breakfast is something I often consume standing up, usually while I simultaneously try to fill bowls of oatmeal for my wife and daughter, quell toddler tantrums before they become baby-waking meltdowns, and unload a dishwasher.

Seven simple ways to practice Mindful Eating:

1. Choose healthy, not convenient, foods. Give some thought to what you’re putting into your body and how it will affect you, rather than defaulting to the most convenient option.

2. Say grace. Or have a moment of silence. Do whatever best aligns with your beliefs and traditions and acknowledges the work that went into creating the meal before you.  Be grateful for the sustenance before you.

3. When in a group, try a small dose of silence. Simply eat & appreciate the moment for a minute or two with full attention to what you are doing.  Use your senses – what do you see, hear, taste, touch, smell?  Take it all in & be aware of what you are doing.

4. To slow things down, count your chews. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that when people chewed almonds at least 25 times or more, their bodies absorbed more of the healthy fats contained by the nuts than other test subjects who chewed only 10 times.

5. Portion your meal based on the time you have to consume it. “If your mealtime is short—for example, during your lunch break at work—plan on a smaller meal rather than just cramming down a large meal quickly”.

6. Avoid skipping meals. When you’re hungry like the wolf, you’re a lot more likely to devour whatever is in your path (i.e., vending machine goodies). This is why it’s so easy to pass over healthier options like fruits and vegetables that might not be as readily accessible or need preparation for consumption.

7. If you do have a spare hour, try this. Take an entire hour (or 30 minutes) to eat dinner. “I prepare dinner, set a timer and say, ‘You are going to stay here for an hour. You can’t leave. It’s part of the exercise. You finish your meal in 15 minutes, you are going to be sitting here for 45 minutes.’ Knowing that they have to be there for an hour really slows them down and makes them deliberately savor the experience”.

Start small.  One step (bite!) at a time.  Rinse & repeat every day. Mindset is everything.  You will be successful only if you don’t quit.

Mindful Eating BASICS by Tasting Mindfulness:

Breathe and Belly Check for hunger and satiety before you eat.

Assess your Food

Slow Down

Investigate your hunger and satiety throughout the meal

Chew Your Food Thoroughly

Savor Your Food

Live Mindfully & Prosper all – one day, one step, one meal, one bite at a time!