Mindful Eating is a simple yet very powerful practice to help you be fully present, aware of where you are and what you are eating.
If you are thinking something in the lines of: ‘Are you going to suggest what I should/shouldn’t be eating at Christmas?’. No, I am not. Simply because it doesn’t work. If you had learnt how to control your eating habits over Christmas, you would probably not be reading this post. What I am going to write on is Mindful Eating.
Eating mindfully – not mindlessly - is a very specific way of eating whilst paying attention to the present moment. Mindful Eating is a great tool to stay in control of your eating habits over the Christmas season. It can cause weight loss, reduce binge eating and make you feel better.
Christmas is the worst time of the year to start a diet or to keep up with your fitness goals. We all know from experience how it goes. The Christmas period can be very stressful, especially if you are trying to stay healthy, and often results in regaining the weight you worked so hard to lose or maintain.
But overcoming this is actually quite simple. Below are a few key Mindful points to remember:
#1 Learn more about your bodily cues for hunger
A good tip to help you learn more about your bodily cue for hanger is to notice how your body feels when you are hungry. I invite you to ask yourself ‘What are my physical cues for hunger? How does feeling ‘slightly hungry’ differ from ‘starving’?’
#2 Listen to your Body’s signals for fullness
I suggest you notice your physical cues for fullness. Try to answer to these questions: ‘What are my bodily cue for fullness? How does ‘slightly full’ differ from ‘very full’?’
#3 Become a slow eater
Slow down to fully appreciate the flavour of the food you are having. I recommend you to increase the number of chews before swallowing. Notice the texture and flavour of the bite you are having.
#4 Avoid Extreme Hunger
If you avoid eating for some time you’ll end up starving. And when one feels very hungry it becomes a real challenge to eat mindfully. Learn to eat when you’re hungry, and stop to eat when you’re sated – simple.
#5 Eat with all 5 Senses
Before you pick up your food, notice how it looks. Notice its colour, its size and how the light reflects from its surface. Then hold the food to your nose, and pay attention to its smell. Next, place the food in your mouth, on your tongue, but don’t eat it. Notice how it feels in your mouth. What do you taste? Roll the food around in your mouth and pay attention to the feeling. Finally, begin to slowly chew your food. Notice the difference in texture as your teeth sink into it. Pay attention to its sound and flavour, and how it spreads across your tongue.