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I’ve noticed a lot of articles and blog post talking about mindful eating at the start of the year. Me being me, I just had to research the topic. I learned that mindful eating can have benefits like weight control and improved gut health. I decided that I wanted to give this mindful eating a shot, so I looked up a ton of tips to get myself started. It’s been about five months now and I feel like I’ve put together a good formula. I decided to make this post to help others find balance through mindful eating. I suggest not just mindlessly taking these tips and expecting them to work for you. Use this post as a starting point to experiment for the sake of your own healthy lifestyle.
*Note: None of these tips will work if you’re not honest with yourself.*
1. Stay Hydrated
I know this tip is super generic, but that’s how important it is. Thirst can hide as hunger and this can cause you to overeat. Start your day with a glass of water. This is also a great way to wake up the body. Have a glass before each meal and sip on water throughout the day.
2. Preplanned Meals
Knowing what you’ll be eating every day is a great way to stay on track with healthy eating. Give meal prepping a try. With meal prep, you plan out what you’ll be eating, buy exactly what you need from the store, and cook all of your meals for the week (or however long you choose) at once. This leaves no room for excuses. You’ll have a refrigerator full of healthy meals each week. If meal prepping is too overwhelming for you, try keeping a meal journal. This will force you to reflect on everything you’ve eaten in a day and hopefully push you to make better choices.
This tip depends on you, so be honest. Some people find that distractions while eating causes them to overeat. Others, like myself, find that distractions help slow them down when eating. This is where you’ll have to be honest and mindful. I find that reading a book or watching an exciting show makes me put my fork down and better chew my food. On the other hand, you may need to remove all distractions and focus entirely on the experience of eating your meal.
4. Chew Well
Chewing is the first step of the digestive process. If you’re not adequately chewing your food, it can put stress on the GI tract. Well chewed food helps the body absorb more nutrients. I won’t quote a set number of times to chew a bite of food. This is another thing that depends on you. For some 20 to 25 chews is best while others chew as many as 50 times. I will suggest starting with a lower number of chews and increasing them over time.
5. Take Your Time
Don’t rush through your meals. This is the opposite of mindful eating. Try to avoid eating on the run or standing up. Sit down and grab a timer. Set it for 20 minutes and pace yourself. It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to send a signal to your brain that you’re full. If you’re chewing like your suppose to, 20 minutes should be easy to reach.