We often put so much effort in determining what we eat we forget how to eat. It sounds so simple right? I mean how hard can it be ? We eat 3 – 5 times a day, that means by the age of 30 you have eaten approximately 42 340 meals. But here is the thing, how many times have you stopped to think about how you’re eating, if you are truly present in the moment or are you just gulping down the food.
There have been studies that have shown the effects of mindful eating and the impact it has on factors such as: increased satiety; decreased anxiety around food; decreased bloating and decreased cravings (Warren, Smith & Ashwell, 2017). So what is this magical new term called “mindful eating”? Well, Mindful eating is defined as “paying attention to an eating experience with all of our senses (seeing, tasting, hearing, smelling, feeling); witnessing the emotional and physical responses that take place before, during and after the eating experience” (Beech, n.d.). Sounds complicated right, don’t worry we have you covered, we did our research and here are our 5 simple tips to break down (no pun intended) mindful eating and apply it to your life today:
Plate it up – ever wonder why when you’re sitting at a formal dinner you eat a lot slower and appreciate every mouthful way more than when you’re lounging about eating out of a carboard box. Put your food on a plate (we like making ours look pretty too, we swear it helps) and full it with all the colours of the rainbow; in terms of your veggies, not the rainbow ice-cream ;).
Take your time – we know all moms chuckled to themselves a bit here, and then asked what is time? But we promise you, take 10 – 15 minutes to yourself and be present in the moment.
It makes sense – these tips do make sense, but this is a little friendly reminder to not just eat with your eyes, acknowledge the smells, the tastes and even the textures and temperatures. Acknowledge how it makes you feel.
No distraction zone – put your phone away, sit outside or at a table. A place where you associate your meal times. When you’re watching T.V. or scrolling through Instagram it is very easy to just swallow your mouthfuls and forget to chew, and then when you look down you have finished your plate and you are not satisfied or you have overeaten– this takes us on to our next tip.
Chew – this is something that we all forget to do, but it is so simple. Your digestion begins in your mouth; by mechanical breaking down your food through chewing your body will then activate your salivary glands and the rest of your digestive system to begin the process of breaking down through other mechanisms. This can result in decreased bloating and increased satiety. Here’s a challenge: at your next meal try chew each mouthful at least 30 times.
If you are like us and look for the picture to sum it up (we see you scrolling down), here is a little infographic to sum it up:
There you have it – mindful eating in a nutshell. Try it and let us know how it goes!
We hope you have a beautiful, happy and healthy day xxx