Week 3 SunRun InTraining: Mindful Eating
In this week's Vancouver Sun, I explain why it matters more how we eat, than what we eat. Read on to learn how to change our mindless eating habits into mindful eating.
Many of us have developed “distracted” eating habits. We eat on the go, in the car, at our desk and in front of the television. We are often surrounded by food and can make up to 200 food decisions every day.
This type of mindless eating distracts our attention from tasting the food, making us unaware of how much we eat and usually makes us eat more.
Mindful eating is a completely different approach to eating that can improve destructive eating habits, assist with keeping a healthy weight and help with a nourishing relationship with food. It teaches us to eat using all of our senses and to savour our food. It directs our attention to our physical hunger and satiety and pleasure cues so we can use our body signals to guide our food choices without rules or guilt.
We can use mindful eating to choose foods that we enjoy and are both nourishing and physically satisfying.
What does this mean? Yes, you can enjoy your cake without guilt. Chew slowly and pause between bites. Taste the flavours and put your fork down. How are you feeling? Notice when you feel comfortably full, stopping before you become stuffed.
Try these tips to practice mindful eating at home:
• Be fully present: Sit down. Turn off the TV and computer. Put your phone away.
• Pay attention to how your body feels: Are you hungry? Are you tired or fatigued?
• Notice your thoughts and feelings: Are you feeling sad or stressed?
• Taste the food with all your senses: Savour the texture, aroma and flavour of the food.
• What does this food make me feel? Pleasure? Bloated? Disappointment?
• Gratitude: Appreciate and enjoy your food.