HOW TO EAT MINDFULLY IN THE REAL WORLD
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.