Practicing Mindful Eating

As the self-proclaimed world’s fastest eater, I can surely attest to the benefits of mindful eating. This is a practice I’ve recently gotten into and have noticed a huge difference in the way I feel physically and mentally. Incorporating these 5 tips into your daily life could transform your relationship with food.

Sit down.

My dad used to always yell at me because I would eat standing up. This comes from a lack of patience and a lack of care. I didn’t understand what the difference was until I started sitting down to eat. Now I’ve learned sitting down sets the tone for your entire meal. If you are a standing eater like I was, try to spend at least 1 meal a day with your booty in a chair.

Say thanks

Set an intention and express gratitude for the food your about to eat. This may sound excessive, but it’s a quick fix to alter your mindset. Taking a moment to reflect on the food you are about to eat makes the experience of eating just that-an experience. Check in to your meal. Thank yourself for sitting down, or for preparing yourself something delicious and whole. Express gratitude for the ability to get fresh, local produce if that’s the case, or be thankful for being able to afford this nourishment. Thank yourself, and thank your food.

Unplug

Mindfulness and scrolling Instagram rarely go hand in hand. When you’re sitting down for a meal and playing Snapchat stories on your phone, you’re not focused on what you are eating. Take these 10 minutes of meal time as a gift. It’s not disconnecting, it’s reconnecting.

Take it slow

Allowing yourself to be present while you’re eating means slowing down. Taste each bite of food and savor the different flavors. Taste. Chew. Swallow. Breathe. Give your body the chance to digest. When we scarf food down our brain isn’t caught up and we don’t realize our bellies are full. We are likely to overeat when we rush through meals. I used to shove the next fork full into my mouth before swallowing the last and literally felt the food building up in my throat. I raced through meals and was finished before I even knew it. Be present and go through each step of the process.

Drink water

Drinking water throughout the day is a no brainer, right? But sometimes we fail to incorporate water into meal time. Drinking water helps in slowing us down. A sip between bites is another chance to hit pause. Additionally, dehydration can mask itself as hunger. Drinking water while you eat may allow you to feel full more quickly and with less food.

Allow yourself the gift of mindful eating. These tips are all discrete and can be done solo, or eating with your partner, family or friends. See if this doesn’t aide in digestion, make meal time more pleasant, and increase your overall sense of gratitude.