Mindful Eating: 7 tips for a Nourished YOU


Mindful Eating: 7 Tips for a Nourished YOU

We often end up shoveling food into our mouths when we start cooking long after the hunger signals begin. Try planning some meals ahead of time and have some healthy items chopped and ready to go. Little by little work your way towards a more regular eating schedule so that you know when to expect to eat, and try to begin cooking well before you're ravenous. Will power leaves the room when we get in a food emergency. 

SIT DOWN AT A TABLE TO EAT. This is one of the simplest ways to begin the practice of mindful eating. Set a place at the table, and sit down to enjoy and appreciate your food. Consider how the French and other European cultures enjoy their meals. They're always surrounded by friends and loved ones, and always sitting down at a table together. They take time to socialize and make eating a time to relax.

CHEW YOUR FOOD. In order to understand how quickly you eat your meals, be mindful of how long it actually takes you to consume your food from start to finish. Chew slowly and pay attention to breaking down the food before you swallow. Not only will this keep you eating the right amount, but it will also help you feel satisfied. It takes around 20-minutes from the moment you begin eating for your brain to send out a signal that you're full. This will help you have a better idea of how fast you're eating, and how much you need to slow down.

TAKE A MOMENT BEFORE YOUR FIRST BITE. Take a couple of deep breaths, and breathe in the aroma of your food. Smelling your yummy meal cues up the glands in your mouth to start producing saliva - the first step in the digestive process. This gives your stomach and your gut the signal that food is coming soon and to get ready. This is also a wonderful time to honor the food in front of you. Take time to show your gratitude for the food you get to consume. 

REMOVE DISTRACTIONS. Put down your phone and turn off the computer. It's amazing how quickly we get into the habit of distracted eating, and it’s important to redirect focus to pay attention to your meal and nothing else. This will help raise your awareness of flavors, heighten your experience, and gain a better understanding of when you're feeling full.

PAY ATTENTION TO HOW YOU ARE FEELING AS YOU EAT.  This is an easy trick to slow down your eating, and chew food more deliberately. Often if we're eating too fast we aren't chewing enough, we don’t take time to do a quick body check. Questions like am I stressed right now? Or how does this soup feel in my stomach?  And most importantly How did I feel the last time I ate_____? If we are eating fast without mindfulness, it can also lead to painful digestion and gas, this can often be avoided by following this simple step..

CHECK IN WITH YOUR FULL SIGNAL. Halfway through the meal, stop and ask yourself if you're still hungry. If you truly are, continue eating. If unsure whether or not you're full, stop there. We often keep eating before that signal is sent from the brain, causing us to consume much more food than we normally would. It takes 10-20 minutes for our body to register that it is satisfied or full. Remember the term “Hara Hachi Bu” a Japanese term for 80% full. The body needs time for the full feeling to register... so before you grab for more... wait it out. 

*The best way to become a more mindful eater is to take small steps, and recover when you fall short. As with every good thing in life, it will take some time and practice to teach yourself to slow down and eat thoughtfully. BE PATIENT!


What is Mindful Eating?

*taking the time to slow down and enjoy food

*listening to your body and being more aware 

*getting connected with the food you eat

*noticing and noting the miracles of the food in front of you

*honoring and showing gratitude for the food you eat

Consider where you currently eat your meals first and go from there. Take notes on what is really happening. Do you sit down? Are you frequently eating fast meals in the car? Is your computer on and you are multitasking? Do you have food prepared that you can easily grab if life gets busy? Answer these questions first and take small steps to adjusting your mindfulness. 

For help implementing these tools and tips go to NOURISH BY JILL.  Hiring a coach is a great option. The best athletes have coaches for a reason. They became better as they listened to themselves AND the advice of a trained coach. For questions or comments email Jill Thompson Health and Wellness Coach at nourishbyjill@icloud.com