10 ways to be­come a mind­ful eater

Good Health (Australia) - - Be Nourished -

1 Start small Use your mid-morn­ing cup of tea as an op­por­tu­nity to start prac­tis­ing mind­ful­ness, says Black. “Feel the sen­sa­tion of the cup in your hand – the tem­per­a­ture, the smell and the taste. No­tice if your mind gets pulled away – ac­knowl­edge it and bring it back to this mo­ment. You may want to ex­per­i­ment with herbal teas to draw you in. Take five min­utes of tea prac­tice then con­tinue with your day.”

2 Make prep a plea­sure “Turn off the tele­vi­sion and pay at­ten­tion to the process of pre­par­ing your meal,” says Black. “Ex­plore it with all your senses. When you’re chop­ping veg­eta­bles, no­tice the rhythm of the chop­ping, the smell of the veg­eta­bles. Ex­pe­ri­ence the crunch of the cel­ery, the fresh smell of the let­tuce as you break it open. What else do you no­tice?”

3 first eat with your eyes... “Be­fore you be­gin eat­ing, ap­pre­ci­ate the food,” says Pear­son. “Look at the va­ri­ety of colours, shapes and tex­tures. Close your eyes and imag­ine how the food will taste. Eat a fork­ful then put down your cut­lery. Close your eyes and fo­cus on the flavours. Stop eat­ing when you be­gin to feel pleas­antly full.”

4 Don’t fear eat­ing out Fo­cus on the plea­sure of the fact that some­one is cook­ing for you in­stead. Don’t go to the restau­rant rav­en­ous and also think about what you fancy eat­ing be­fore you even open the menu, so you don’t get side­tracked by the choices.

5 Make it last Ad­mit it, most of your meals last just 10 min­utes, right? There’s a time lag of about 20 min­utes be­tween eat­ing and the brain re­ceiv­ing the mes­sage that the stom­ach is full, says Black. “When we eat too quickly we don’t cre­ate the op­por­tu­nity to re­ceive the mes­sage,” she says. Try set­ting a timer for 25 min­utes – then eat mind­fully and see if you can make your meal last un­til the buzzer sounds.

6 No­tice how your food makes you feel “Pay at­ten­tion to how you feel im­me­di­ately af­ter eat­ing, then a cou­ple of hours later,” says Black. “If you snack on dough­nuts, your body will re­spond in kind. A su­gar high might lift you in that mo­ment but you’ll come crash­ing down later; and your mood with it. As we start to take no­tice of how we feel af­ter eat­ing cer­tain foods, we can be­gin to make in­formed choices about what we eat.”

7 Pause for choice “When you find your­self reach­ing for some cho­co­late or other treat, pause,” says Black. “Ac­knowl­edge what is hap­pen­ing with­out judg­ing. Ask your­self what’s driv­ing you to reach for it. Paus­ing and notic­ing your thoughts and emo­tions helps you fo­cus. You may still eat the cho­co­late but it be­comes a choice rather than an au­to­matic re­ac­tion.”

8 Shop mind­fully Re­mind your­self that flashy ad­ver­tis­ing and special of­fers are there to lure you into buy­ing foods you don’t need or even want. Plan­ning menus for a few days and then mak­ing a list for in­gre­di­ents can help you stop shop­ping mind­lessly too.

9 Make ev­ery meal special “In our ‘lunch is for wimps cul­ture’, it’s seen as a virtue to de­vour our food as quickly as pos­si­ble at our desks,“says Bartholomew. “But with mind­ful eat­ing, any­thing worth eat­ing is worth mak­ing a meal over. Cel­e­brate the lovely, healthy food to which you are treat­ing your body. En­joy ev­ery mouth­ful.”

10 Hop be­tween foods Eat­ing mouth­fuls of the same food stops you from re­ally ap­pre­ci­at­ing it. Try ‘hop­ping’ be­tween foods, not eat­ing the same food two bites in a row. So, eat some potato, then salad, then chicken and so on.

Plan­ning menus can help you to stop shop­ping mind­lessly too

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