HOW TO EAT MIND­FULLY IN THE REAL WORLD

Calgary Herald - - YOU -

Here are some tips from Car­rie Den­nett, a regis­tered di­eti­tian nu­tri­tion­ist:

When­ever you have the urge to eat, ask your­self: “Am I truly hun­gry or do I want to eat for an­other rea­son?” Be­come aware of non-hunger eat­ing trig­gers such as thoughts, feel­ings or en­vi­ron­men­tal cues that prompt a de­sire to eat. This in­cludes bore­dom and pro­cras­ti­na­tion.

Prac­tise notic­ing bod­ily sen­sa­tions of hunger and sati­ety be­fore and dur­ing meals and snacks, in­clud­ing how th­ese sen­sa­tions change as the meal pro­gresses.

De­cide which meals might be eas­i­est to prac­tise mind­ful­ness. Take a few breaths be­fore start­ing the meal and take time to no­tice how the food looks and smells. Then, tune into the first few bites, notic­ing the ini­tial flavour, tex­ture and other sen­sa­tions.

While din­ing, pe­ri­od­i­cally turn your at­ten­tion from your book, phone or com­pan­ion, and back to your food. Does it still taste good? When your en­joy­ment of the food starts to wane, it may be time to stop eat­ing.

Pre-por­tion your food if you know you must eat while deeply dis­tracted, such as in front of the tele­vi­sion or while pow­er­ing through work at your desk.

If you find it dif­fi­cult to eat with­out dis­trac­tion, find a dis­trac­tion less likely to lead to overindulging. One of my pa­tients broke her habit of mind­lessly overeat­ing in front of the TV by ori­ent­ing her ta­ble so she could eat more mind­fully while en­joy­ing the view out her win­dow.

Note your hunger and full­ness five to 10 min­utes af­ter eat­ing, and for the next few hours.

Aim to prac­tice with­out a spe­cific goal in mind — it’s about be­ing in the present mo­ment, not cross­ing a fin­ish line.

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