Mindful Eating Strategies

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Eating-WellWhen trying to lose weight, you probably have heard of mindful eating, but wh
at is mindful eating?  Firstly, mindfulness is deliberately paying attention to the present moment.  You are being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations.  Moreover, you are paying attention to internal and external cues in the moment that they are occurring.  When you combine these mindfulness principles with eating, the result is mindful eating.

Mindful eating is eating food in a way that promotes respect to your body.  You are selecting foods that are satisfying to you and nourishing for your body.  For example, when you snack on a few slices of avocado, your taste buds will be satisfied, and your body will appreciate the healthy fats that you are feeding it.  On the other hand, when you snack on a handful of potato chips, your taste buds will be satisfied, but your body will rebel against the unhealthy fats that you gave it.  

Mindful eating is also about being in the moment while eating and drinking and acknowledging your likes and dislikes.  For instance, if you do not like kale, make note of it, and know that you do not have to eat kale.  Maybe, you like spinach, turnip greens, or bok choy.  You can eat those instead of eating kale.

Mindful eating is being aware of physical hunger and satiety cues and listening to those cues to guide your eating choices.  When the thought of hunger pops into your mind, pause and ask yourself if you are really hungry or if you are actually thirsty.  If you are really hungry, then feed yourself with healthy foods that will satisfy your taste buds and nourish your body.   Eat slowly, and take small bites.  Eat without distraction, so you can taste eat bite.  Once you begin to feel satisfied, just stop eating.  And, if what you feel is thirst, then hydrate yourself with a wonderful glass of water.  Either way, you are being conscious of what your body is feeling and responding to it appropriately.

When you are eating mindfully, you are savoring each eating experience.  You are aware of how certain foods feel in your body, and you make food choices that support your body’s health and well-being.  If you are not already practicing mindful eating, start by going grocery shopping.  You will need to have a food environment stocked with healthy foods that you can mentally, physically, and emotionally enjoy.  Plan to carry some of these healthy foods with you, so in case you become hungry or thirsty while you are on the go, you are still able to consume tasty, nourishing foods.  Keep in mind that no one is perfect, and that is okay.  You can focus on one mindful eating strategy at a time.  Some ideas may work very well for you, while others do not.  Find what works for you, and soon, you will naturally eat less but enjoy the foods that you do eat a lot more.

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