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Becoming more mindful with your eating.

You have finished a hard day at work or have spent the whole day with the kids and sit down to watch some TV for the evening.

Before you know it you have gone through an entire bag of pretzels or even a whole tin of selection chocolates. Many people have been in this situation and you have probably too but it is not your fault.

On a daily basis, we are bombarded with ads about food or the magazines have tear outs for fast food coupon codes, food is literally at every corner of the globe and it makes us forget why we eat.

We should be eating for nutrients and energy but many of us fall into comfort eating/ mindless eating and have cravings all the time. If you are like then you need to take a look at “Mindful Eating”.

Mindless eating is when you are watching a film and munching on everything that is around which is unhealthy.

Mindful eating, on the other hand, is controlling urges and making habit changes to only eat when you actually need to.

To become more mindful of what you eat you can do the following:

Use smaller plates and bowls – You will eat smaller portions as even if you fill your plate or bowl full there will be less food in it. You won’t even notice!

Think about what you are eating, and whether you are actually hungry. Before you go and grab something to eat, take a step back and ask yourself

Am I hungry or thirsty?
Am I hungry or bored?
Am I really hungry for a full meal or will a small healthy snack do?
Can I wait 20 minutes or do I need to eat now? You may find after 20 minutes the feeling has passed.

Hide the junk food – If you are living with a family or other people then there may be junk food like soda or chips that are lying around. Put them in a cupboard out of sight. If you can’t see it, you won’t eat it.

Eat without distractions – don’t eat while you watch t.v. or surf the web. Eat at the table not on your couch or at your desk. Also, clear your table – If you have paper bills, magazines, electronics and other stuff piled on the table it can cause a distraction when eating. Clear the table so you can focus on your meal.

Eat slowly – Chew your food 20 times before swallowing, take a breath between mouthfuls of food. Slowing down will tell your brain you are filling up and making this a habit will benefit you in the long run.

Serve yourself before you sit down to eat. Avoid the temptation to put ALL the food on the table. Serve yourself from the counter and sit down with just your plate so you aren’t tempted to mindlessly reach for extra helpings when you aren’t actually still hungry.

Take a few extra moments to make your food look appealing. Eat off a nice plate, add a sprinkle of fresh herbs or some kind of garnish, make sure your plate has colour and balance.

Action Step:

Pick one of the changes above and implement it today. Find one that is easy and stick to it as in a few days you will start to see the benefits.