Why You Should Eat Mindfully, And How To Do It
It may seem like common sense, but eating mindfully in today’s world seems like a thing of the past.
We are constantly stimulated by everything around us – the Internet, TV, work, kids, family, scheduling – that we either scarf down every meal, skip meals, eat late at night, or all day long.
These habits are not only unhealthy, but also wreck havoc on your energy levels, weight, and health of the brain.
Here are some practical tips for getting back to the simplicity, mindfulness, and enjoyment of food.
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Tip #1: Make Time For Meals
This is probably the most simple tip – as well as one of the hardest.
When we put the phone or computer away, turn off the TV, and sit at the table during meal times, we eat more mindfully and fully enjoy our meals.
Think of meal times as a break in your day, a time to breathe deeply and relax before getting back to life’s obligations.
The emails can wait, the phone calls can wait, the TV shows can wait.
A Harvard study has shown that when people multitasked while eating, they ended up consuming 25 percent MORE food than when they enjoyed a meal without distractions – and felt less satisfied too.
Instead of viewing meal times as an eating contest (“How fast can I finish this sandwich before the next conference/appointment/class?”), give each bite individual attention.
One bite at a time.
You will experience better satisfaction post-mealtime with less excess amounts of food when you focus on the one bite at a time, rather than going as fast as you can to approach next task in the day.
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Tip #3: Avoid the Pitfall Times
Everyone has a “pitfall time” – those sneaky 3pm cravings and the late night cravings.
Rather than reaching for a bowl of ice cream at night or sugar-filled coffees in the afternoon, choose foods or drinks that will benefit you.
It is very easy to going into auto-pilot, mindless munching mode when we’re tired and these are the times in our circadian rhythm that can lead us to snack to stay awake.
One of my favorite choices is tea.
There are many flavors and blends that you can never get bored!
During the afternoon, I’ll usually enjoy a cup of sweet orange, cinnamon, and decaf green tea.
My evening favorites are vanilla chamomile, peppermint, and lemon ginger.
If you are actually hungry, choose foods that will give you energy rather than drag you down, such as fruit, hard boiled eggs, grilled chicken, and whole grain toast with fresh berries.
Eating mindfully is not only a healthy habit, but it will also help you feel calmer and more satisfied overall.
The physical benefits are great too; better digestion, healthier weight, and stable energy levels.
Decisions also become more healthier and natural when we eat mindfully – we choose the plant-based foods because they’re better for us than a hot dog or fast food burger.
We’re more in tune with our bodies and how they feel when we eat a certain food or amount.
When we change the way we react and care for our bodies – both from the inside and out – the happier and healthier we can be.
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