Mindful eating is a big part of my practice with clients. What is mindful eating you ask? It is the practice, quite simply, of honouring your body’s hunger and fullness cues. It’s about fueling your body with the food it needs to thrive, without questionning or second-guessing those urges. It’s not about using food to deal with emotions. It’s not about eating simply because there’s still food on the plate. It is also referred to as intuitive eating, meaning that it is eating according to physical needs. Many of us approach eating as a side project, something to be done while we catch up on emails, work, or our favourite television shows. But research shows that if we eat while we’re distracted, we tend to feel less satisfied with our meals and often eat up to 50% more! Mindful eaters are more likely to be at a healthy weight, less likely to suffer from eating disorders and overeating, and are more satisfied with their diets. Here are some tips to approaching eating more mindfully:
- Tune out distractions. Turn off the television, phone, computer and whatever else may distract you from the task of eating.
- Focus on the flavours of the food and eat slowly to savour the moment.
- Before eating, always check in to see if you’re truly hungry or simply looking for a way of escaping a particular emotion, such as boredom, anger, stress, loneliness.
- While eating, check in with your level of fullness. Are you comfortably satisfied? Are you still hungry? Choose to stop eating or continue eating based on your answers to these questions.
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To see if you are a mindful eater, take this quiz.
If you’d like guidance on becoming a more mindful eater, make an appointment with the Kelowna dietitian today!