Have you ever tried mindful eating? Research shows that mindful eating can help people with weight management, and stop people choosing unhealthy processed food. Sounds like there could be something to it.
It is about being present while you eat. I think this can be quite tricky as I either eat in company which involves chatting to each other (quite difficult to be mindful then) or I eat on my own so I stick on the telly, read a mag or go on social media. I guess that is the point, you aren’t focused on what you are eating so you can end up eating more and you are too distracted to notice the feelings of being full. So put the distractions down for a while and give it a go!
The whole idea is training yourself to notice the sensations of the food whilst you eat. The smell, the texture, the flavour, the colour. Really enjoy every bite or sip you take of the food and drink you consume. Interestingly you will become aware of your patterns of behaviour around food along with any negative associations you have with food, for example:
- Do you reach for chocolate to cheer you up?
- Do you eat out of boredom? This is very common!
- Do you feel guilty about eating certain types of foods?
- What foods make you feel good? If it is a naughty food, eat it less often but savour it so you don’t fixate on what you can’t or shouldn’t have.
- Do you eat more when you are hormonal?
- How do you feel when you are hungry?
- Are you really hungry?
- Are you just thirsty? Our brain often confuses hunger with thirst so drink a glass of water first.
- How do you feel when you are full?
- How do you feel after eating healthy foods?
- Do you properly chew your food and swallow before reloading your fork, or are you a ‘shoveller’? Your tummy needs time to tell your brain you are full so slow down!
- Do you sit down to eat or eat on the go? Sitting down will help you slow down when eating.
- Do you always finish your plate despite being full, because you were brought up to finish everything? Maybe try eating your food from a smaller side plate rather than a dinner plate.
What also might help is keeping a food diary. I have tried this on many occasion and never been very successful at keeping it up to date, but I did notice if certain foods didn’t agree with me (it seems I have an issue with wheat – damn it as I love love love a hot slice of French baguette with butter! So I just need to try to avoid it as best I can.)
So there you are. Quite interesting I thought. Do you think that you might try mindful eating?