Practicing Mindful Eating
March is National Nutrition Month and the theme for 2016 is ‘Savor the Flavor of Eating Right”. Food is the fuel our body needs to function properly, but we eat for so many other reasons as well: comfort, enjoyment, culture, social and so on. To ‘savor the flavor of eating right’ we have to practice mindful eating, or consciously choosing the types and quantity of food we eat to provide our body with the best fuel possible.
You can practice mindful eating by following these steps:
- Ask yourself, how hungry am I? Am I physically hungry or do I want to eat out of boredom or because of another stimulant?
- At meal or snack times avoid distractions like television or driving; when distracted we often choose the “wrong” foods and eat more than we originally intended or needed.
- Slow down! Don’t rush through your meal, savor each bite, chew thoroughly and appreciate the meal, you will likely feel more satisfied after!
- Throughout the meal take a moment to assess how your hunger levels are changing, this can help prevent over eating.
- At the end of a meal try and plan an engaging activity: going on a walk, talking with a friend, playing a game, reading a book- this will help signal the end of the meal and food will no longer be on your mind!