Interested in taking a turn from the trendy diets and endless calorie counting? Mindful eating may be the answer. But what exactly is mindful eating and how is it different from the diet changes you’ve tried in the past? Here are the things you need to know about mindful eating as well as some tips for success.
Benefits of Mindful Eating
Mindful eating isn’t a diet. It’s a way of being during mealtime. Rather than counting calories or eliminating certain foods from your diet, mindful eating involves tuning in each bite you take and tuning out mealtime distractions.
Proponents of mindful eating say that, by tuning out distractions surrounding each meal, you’ll naturally eat less because you’ll be listening to your body’s natural signals. Mindful eating can also help you learn more about food sensitivities by monitoring clues provided by your body.
By naturally eating less and by eliminating foods to which you are sensitive, you’ll lose weight, feel better and more. Of course, as with any diet change, adopting a mindful eating lifestyle requires a change in habits and can take some time to incorporate into your life.
Tips for Success
According to Mindful Eating: What you Need to Know, there are many ways that you can increase your success with a mindful eating lifestyle. Experts recommend the following mindful eating techniques:
- Reduce your tendency to eat quickly by eating food with your non-dominant hand
- Eat in silence to fully focus on each bite
- Cut your food into small pieces, take small bites and chew slowly
- Drink water between bites
- Before eating a meal or snack, ponder whether you’re actually hungry
- Aim for each meal to take 20 minutes to eat
Mindful eating is all about living in the moment. As such, to experience success with this change, slow down and enjoy your meals. You’ll likely find that you’re able to taste more of each meal’s ingredients. You may also end up eating less often simply by asking yourself whether you’re ravenous before you prepare a meal.
As with any diet change, you may experience roadblocks to successfully adopting a mindful eating lifestyle. Here are some tips for avoiding and overcoming the most common barriers:
- Prepare your meals – The drive-thru lane is mindful eating’s biggest enemy. To experience success with this change, prepare your meals at home. When possible, make your meals in advance and pack the food to eat at work.
- Remove distractions – Mealtime must be a time to focus entirely on the food you’re eating. Shut off the TV, set your phone aside and remove other distractions that commonly divert your attention from mealtime.
- Give yourself grace – Adapting to this new lifestyle can take time. Give yourself grace for any setbacks, assess any mistakes that you make and learn from those mistakes for your next mealtime.
When it comes to evolving your eating habits, mindful eating may be the answer you’ve been seeking. Experience success with this change by eliminating distractions from mealtime, by tuning into your body and more.