Mindful eating is a way of eating that is intuitive, non-judgmental, and encourage savoring food. Mindful eating promotes a healthy relationship with food and a healthy weight. We are all born with the ability to eat intuitively, eat when we’re hungry, and stop when we’re full. But over time we can lose touch of this. For example, have you been told to finish your plate?
The following tips will help you re-learn healthy eating habits.
5 Tips for More Mindful Eating
1. For one week (ideally a lifetime) try to stay positive. Use positive self-talk, such as, “I don’t have cake very often” or “I will enjoy a small piece,” instead of negative self talk, like, “I’m so bad, I shouldn’t have had that cake”). Try not to say or think judgmental thoughts about yourself.
2. Do you know when you’re full and when you’re hungry? We sometimes lose touch with our hunger cues. Here’s a trick to try: using a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being starving and 5 being uncomfortably full. Rate your hunger on a scale of 1 to 5 before and after meals to help you decide how much to eat and when to stop.
3. Spend at least 20 minutes at each meal. Put your fork or spoon down between bites. This way your brain gets the message to stop when you’re full.
4. Eat each meal and even snacks seated at the table. Limit distractions like TV, computer, or phone. These can take away from the enjoyment of eating and sometimes lead to overeating.
5. Instead of finishing your plate, practice leaving a bite behind.
These five tips will get you started on a path of mindful eating, leading to more healthy relationship with food and a healthy weight.
Katie Myerson is a registered dietitian/nutritionist and certified diabetes educator on the Community Health Team at Stowe Family Practice.
Community Health Services of Lamoille Valley (CHSLV) is funded in part through a grant from the U.S. Health and Human Services Administration and generous community support. CHSLV is a Health Center Program grantee under 42 U.S.C. 254b and a deemed Public Health Service employee under 42 U.S.C. 233