More often than not, when you eat, you are distracted by something else. When you are confused about what to eat, when you are watching TV, or when your mind is not in the present moment, it’s easier to make poor food choices without even realizing it.
Mindfulness is the act of being aware and present in the here and now, which can help you re-connect with your body and your surroundings. When you’re mindful, you’re more likely to make better food choices that are nutrient-rich and lower in calories. Here are ten tips for mindful eating to help you stay healthy and fit:
1. Eat food that will fuel your body
Remember to only eat when you are hungry, not because you’re bored or stressed. If you eat mindlessly, chances are you will overeat and consume more calories than your body needs. Plus, you have to be careful about what you’re eating because when you’re mindlessly eating, you’re more likely to choose high-calorie food that might be satisfying at the moment but can take a toll on your health and fitness in the long run.
2. Be aware of what you are eating
If you see your spouse or child eating ice cream, pay attention to how it makes you feel. Ask yourself if it feels right. If it doesn’t, choose not to eat it. This will help you avoid unneeded temptations and overeating because you will be more aware of your feelings and cravings.
3. Avoid distractions when eating food
This will help keep portion sizes under control because you will not have to pay much attention when distracted. Avoid watching TV when having a meal. When you’re at home, avoid multitasking when you’re eating because your food deserves your full attention.
4. Get your family involved in eating mindfully
You can all work together to eat a healthier diet. If you are trying to lose weight, ask your family to support you in changing your diet. But it can also be a good idea to start the practice as a family because this way, you’re all part of the journey to becoming healthier.
5. Pay attention to your body as you eat
Slow down and enjoy each bite, chewing thoroughly until your food is liquid in your mouth before swallowing. This will help with weight loss by keeping you full for longer and preventing overeating. Additionally, it can help you avoid digestive problems, such as acid reflux, because slow eating can help you recognize the signs of fullness.
6. Don’t eat when you are angry, nervous, or sad
This can be a difficult one. It will take lots of patience to begin changing your eating habits, but you’ll notice that you feel better when you eat mindfully over time. So despite what others say, try not to eat your emotions away.
7. Practice mindfulness throughout the day
Be aware of what is happening around you at all times. This will help you take the time to practice eating mindfully and return to mindfulness throughout your day when you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed. Plus, it’s a great way to take a break from your busy day and appreciate what you have.
8. Be more involved in preparing food
If you make your meals, prepare healthy options and avoid overeating. Pack a healthy meal for work or school instead of going to a restaurant for lunch. This way, it will be much easier to avoid ingredients you’re allergic to. But if you’re not aware of certain allergens, it might be best to undergo a food allergy test for good measure.
9. Don’t eat when you’re not hungry
It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to tell your stomach that it’s time to eat. So if you are not hungry, try drinking a glass of water or waiting 20 minutes before eating. You’ll be surprised at how much food you can handle when you don’t eat just because it’s time to eat.
10. Eat at the same times every day
This will help you get into better eating habits because it’s easier to remember what time it is, so you can eat instead of getting caught up in all your daily tasks. Of course, there could be unavoidable situations, but this way, you’ll get used to the routine and not feel so affected by it.
Each tip will help you maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle and can help you lose weight in the process. Changing your eating habits won’t be easy, but it can be well worth the effort if it means that you’ll stay healthy for many years to come.