wHeatwise community member, Monica Kelly offers her top-ten mindful eating tips. Learn how you can bring your mindful practice with you as you truly enjoy your meals.
Picture this situation. You are sitting on your couch while watching your favorite TV drama (The Sinner, perhaps?) and eating dinner. All of a sudden, you have reached the bottom of your plate and don’t even remember taking more than two bites of your food. This is a classic example of not eating mindfully! We are all guilty of it.
Mindful eating requires you to simply acknowledge and accept rather than judge the feelings, thoughts, and sensations you observe. It can extend to the process of buying, preparing, and serving your food as well as consuming it. Please find some mindful eating tips below:
- ALWAYS and I mean ALWAYS put your food (whatever it may be) on a plate or in a bowl. NEVER eat out of a bag because you will never know how much you are consuming and when something is in front of you, you will most likely just keep eating it until the bag is empty or your stomach hurts.
- Avoid watching TV while eating.
- Have a designated area for eating meals or snacks. For me, it’s at the kitchen counter that has bar stools that aren’t facing the television.
- When you know you will be out and about for a few hours, bring a healthy snack with you. When hunger strikes (if it does), you don’t want to be forced to grab whatever you can find at the corner bodega.
- Before going to a restaurant, view the menu online first. Pick what you want in advance so you make a mindfully healthy decision. Almost every time I go out for brunch, by the time I get to the restaurant I am so hungry I would probably pick the first thing I saw on the menu!
- Know if you are truly hungry or just bored. Notice your patterns – are you eating just because you typically eat at this time? Do you feel like you have to eat right now before it gets too late? Take a quick timeout to breathe and lean in to what your body really needs at that very moment.
- Take small bites. By doing this, you can taste the food completely.
- Chew thoroughly. This will help in digestion and will also help you in tasting the food.
- Eat slowly! It’s not a race. We are meant to enjoy our food.
- Make a weekly grocery store list so you have a plan! I typically plan on eating pretty much the same few meals throughout the week since I am just cooking for myself and hate wasting food. Make sure you plan all of your meals in advance and if you can’t find what you set out for at the store, have a back-up plan!
Monica Kelly is a certified image consultant and health coach in Brooklyn, NY. She helps enhance the lives of her clients, giving them the confidence to show up for what matters most. She is passionate about helping women feel and look their absolute best.