By Kristine James, Dietectics Student
America is very rushed, especially when it comes to food. You can find fast food restaurants everywhere and you can get a whole meal within 5 minutes. Best of all you might not even have to get out of the car. You can make a quick stop before you drive to your kids’ baseball practice in the evening and eat while you are driving. It saved you time but do you remember how your food tasted, how it looked and smelled? Did you enjoy eating and savor every bite? Most of us do not and might not have heard of mindful eating before either.
Mindful eating describes the enjoyment of food by utilizing all senses. Mindful eating is based on five principles: reduce eating rate, assess hunger and satiety cues, reduce portion sizes, reduce distractions while eating and savor food.
Here are some great tips to start including the five basic principle of mindful eating which has shown a significant reduction of food intake, overeating, as well as negative behaviors that are associated with overweight or obesity.
Reduce eating rate
- Increase the number of chews or chewing thoroughly before swallowing.
- Take smaller bites and/or consume water between bites.
Assess hunger and satiety cues
- Determine if you eat due to emotions such as stress, sadness, happiness or internal hunger cues.
- Eat when hungry but not starving.
- Stop eating when you start to feel full.
Reduce portion sizes
- Serve yourself less food.
- Use smaller dishes.
- Order smaller portions at restaurants.
Reduce distractions during eating
- Turn off television and music.
- Sit at a table with friends or family.
- Focus on enjoying food.
- Sit at a table with a nice place setting.
- Even if alone, create a positive pleasant environment to savor and embrace the food.
Mindful eating is like to stop and smell the roses. We might get rushed and forget, but it is important and marvelous to eat mindful. Make sure, next time you eat to smell, look at, and really taste your food!