Even without changing the foods you eat, this simple tip will have a big impact on your health and weight loss goals. When you improve how you eat, you’ll naturally improve what you eat.
Eating mindfully means being fully present for each bite, chew, sip and swallow. It’s being aware of your surroundings and what’s going on inside your body. When you engage your senses, you can connect with the present moment and learn to enjoy food in a more nourishing way.
Although “being mindful” is a simple concept, it can be extremely challenging in our fast-paced culture. That’s why it’s important to practice on a daily basis. Start by being mindful of your first three bites/sips. It’s this combination of awareness and small changes that produce effective and sustainable results.
Is your hunger physical or emotional? Are you thirsty or hungry?
Create a Relaxing Environment
Unplug from technology, set the table, add flowers, light a candle, etc. Create a distraction-free zone so that you can focus on eating. Not eating and… watching TV, tweeting or updating your Facebook status.
Develop a Mealtime Ritual
Did you know that singing happy birthday actually makes cake taste better? Develop your own mealtime ritual to make your food special by cooking, breathing and expressing gratitude before you dig in.
Engage Your Senses
Notice the colors, textures, scents, tastes and sounds while eating. Using fresh herbs and spices, such as garlic, ginger, cilantro and basil, is also a great way to boost flavor and heighten your senses.
Challenge yourself to chew each bite at least 30 times. Chewing releases digestive enzymes that help break down your food to improve digestion and increase nutrient absorption.
It takes about 20 minutes for leptin, your hunger reducing hormone, to signal that you’re “full.” So take your time eating by taking smaller bites, putting utensils down, pausing and checking-in with your body.
Improve Your Posture
Are you slouched over or tense? Find a relaxed seated position that feels comfortable.