I admit it.
I’ve been there. Driving to work, running late with one hand on the wheel and the other shoving toast in my face. Not only does this result in a disaster of crumbs in my car, but it inhibits full presence in both tasks.
Consider this: you’re snuggled up on the couch with a bag of your favorite chips, binge-watching the entire last season of Breaking Bad. I know, sounds great, right? But, halfway through the 4th episode, you reach in the bag for a handful and realize it’s empty. How did that happen?!
When we eat with a lack of awareness, presence, and mindfulness, we create a disconnect between our mind and our body. We consume more, which leads to weight gain, and we end our meal or snack still unsatisfied.
Cultivating mindfulness in dietary habits sounds simple, but can be a lot of work. This involves making conscious choices about what, when, and why you are eating. Try incorporating mindfulness into your diet by:
- EXPRESSING GRATITUDE
…before, during, and after your meal. This doesn’t have to be labeled as a ‘prayer’, but taking a moment to say thanks before tucking in makes the food taste better… I swear.
- EATING ONLY AT THE TABLE
not on the go, on the couch in front of the TV, or at your desk.
- FOCUSING ON YOUR FOOD
Really. What does the food on your plate look like? What is the texture? How does it feel in your mouth? How does it sound?
- CHEWING, CHEWING, AND CHEWING SOME MORE
Make it a meditation of sorts. The smaller your food is when swallowed, the easier it travels through the rest of your digestive system.
- SETTING DOWN UTENSILS BETWEEN BITES
Let your body have time to recognize satiety, and learn how to listen to it when it’s full.
Practicing mindful eating opens doors for a healthy relationship with food. Being present at the table and with your meals reduces over eating, increases general satisfaction and enjoyment, and vastly improves digestive health.