Mindful Mouthful

Mindfulness is the rage these days…mindfulness for reducing stress, greater productivity in the workplace and creating more meaningful relationships with friends and significant others. But what about mindfulness when you eat. Studies show mindfulness is a great strategy to improve your relationship with food. Here’s how:

 

  1. Shut it Down. We are so busy multi-tasking- phones, emails, text messages… But eating time is not meant for multi-tasking, it is meant for eating. Shut down the phones and screens-this includes the TV. Take a moment before that first bite to clear your head. Take a deep breath in and exhale busy day out, and get ready to nourish your body.
  2. Eating is not speed racing. Often we race through our meals without chewing, tasting or enjoying. Slowwwww down! Take time to chew your food- thoroughly. Allow the food to come into contact with all of your mouth taking advantage of the taste receptors on the right and left,  top and bottom of your mouth. Eating slowly gives your body the opportunity to truly taste your meal, your mind the ability to find satisfaction in your food, and for your gut to receive the nutrients and know when you have had enough.
  3. Know if it is worth it. Studies show that people will consume popcorn, chips and other snacks even when it is stale! Pause and ask yourself- “Am I enjoying this?” If not why eat it? Make a habit to check in and eat what you truly enjoy and not just what is there.
  4. Sometimes food is just fuel. Even though it is important to eat what you enjoy, it is also important to understand that sometimes food is just fuel. Yes,  food sometimes is family, celebrations and community, but sometimes food is just fuel. Not every meal has to set off fireworks!
  5. Are you full yet? Often we eat too fast, we eat with too many distractions or eat for emotions other than hunger such as boredom or anxiety. Don’t forget to check in, Are you full yet? Make a point to tune into your body’s signals and know when you are full and when it is time to stop.

 

Mindful eating is important to develop a healthy relationship with food, to truly enjoy eating and to make sure that your food is nourishing not hurting your body. Learn more about our nutrition, health and weight loss programs here.

Author
Dr. Adrienne Youdim

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