Mindful eating protocols may help create a slightly better balance with food and a greater understanding of hunger levels and nutritional needs. It can be difficult to practice in this fast-paced world but it’s a valuable skill to have within your toolbox!
Establishing healthy habits early on will help you become more flexible in the long run, as your goals and lifestyle may change.
Being more mindful with your meals can;
- Reduce mindless eating
- Reduce hunger
- Improve digestion
- Enhance enjoyment
- Reduce overeating at your next meal
Okay, but what do you mean by mindful?
It’s unrealistic to think you can make every meal mindful - life just doesn’t work like that - but, when you can, try and incorporate some of the below protocols:
Try not to eat in front of the television or while your focus is on something else. Concentrate on what you’re eating, how it’s making you feel and the point at which you are starting to feel full.
Taking small bites, chewing thoroughly and eating slowly so you can understand how you’re feeling as the meal goes on.
Are you hungry? Are you bored or stressed?
Take a moment to understand why you are eating and, if it is not hunger, is it what you need right now?
Eating to Satiety.
All of the above practices will culminate in helping you understand at what point you are feeling satisfied and full. When you reach this point, regardless of if you have food left, stop and adjust your portion sizes next time.
If you struggle to stop if there is food left or don’t like wasting food, start with smaller portion sizes than you think you will want, and add in where necessary. See ‘Portion Sizes’ or for more guidelines and advice can be found within your Nutrition Toolbox.
Implementing some, or all of these mindful eating protocols into your meals and snacks should help you create a healthier relationship with your food, and therefore determine a healthier pattern of eating that aligns with the nutrition needed for your goal!