Mindful eating. Eating awareness. Savoring the food we eat. Acknowledging we are consuming fuel.
All of the above are ways to approach a meal or snack. Many times we scarf down foods because of habit or because we’re short on time. If you struggle with weight, or finding yourself ‘missing’ how you just consumed your entire meal in 5 minutes take a few steps to slow yourself down.
- Be grateful for the food/snack you have before you. Think about the many hands that the food you are about to consume passed through before it got to you. Be grateful for the farmers and workers who planted, grew, picked, packed, shipped, moved, unpacked, placed in your grocery store, rang you out, cooked your meal…you get my drift. Grattitude goes a long way and if you’ve read my posts before know how important it can be in racing as well as the real world.
- LOOK at your food. How many colors are there? Look at different textures, sizes, shapes. Have you ever noticed that a raisin isn’t really just a dark purpley brown but that within the crevaces and wrinkles there are grey and white shadows? Take a second to really look at your food before you dive in.
- SMELL your food. I love the smell of coffee. Almost moreso than the taste of coffee. The commercials for Folgers where the mom takes a big whiff of her morning cup of joe is a GREAT example of taking in the scent of your foods. Smell is closely associated with taste. Smelling your food first will prepare your mind to enjoy the taste it is expecting to recieve shortly.
- CHEW YOUR FOOD. Sounds pretty simple and obvious right? The next time you eat something count how many times you actually chew. Do you “chomp, chomp, gulp” or do you chew for 8 or more times before swallowing. This will also alow you to TASTE your food and savor the flavor. Another tip? PUT DOWN THE FORK in between bites. This will allow you to chew, taste, swallow, before you prep the next bite.
- Recognize when you are full. This is one of the biggest things that I see in people who come to the support group I help facilitate for eating disorders. Learning to listen to your stomach and mind when you are truly and comfortably full. Using a scale of 1-10 (10 being absolutely stuffed to the brink) finishing a meal when you feel like a 6/7 is absolutely fine. You can always snack more later if you get hungry again.
Everyone has their own relationship with food. If you struggle with that relationship start with mindful eating and see what happens. It’s not a diet, just a little bit more awareness…and we all can use some of that.