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8 Tips to Practice Mindful Eating
If you’re a yoga devotee or you listen to any celebrity interview, mindfulness has taken center stage as a great practice for healthy living. This practice not only involves twisting your body into unlikely positions and sitting quietly while you meditate; it can, and should, extend to your eating.
Mindful eating is a great way to eat better, enjoy your food, and, here’s where it gets really interesting, lose weight. At Marin Weight Loss & Wellness, we help our clients in Novato and Greenbrae, California, approach weight loss and wellness from every angle possible, delivering effective results that leave you satisfied from the inside out.
If you want to reap the incredible benefits of mindful eating, here are eight tips to get you started
In a world where take-out food and eating on-the-go is in vogue, it’s no wonder that weight problems plague us in the United States. Wolfing down our food, grabbing lunch on the run, and dinner on the fly are some bad habits to cut if we want to eat right and maintain a healthy weight.
Eating shouldn’t be a race. If you don’t slow down to eat, you’ll end up “polishing off” far more than you intended because you don’t allow your body time to catch up and signal you that you’re done.
One of the first steps in mindful eating starts when you dish out your food. Take a good look at what’s on your plate, and consider whether you really need all of it. Start out with a smaller portion and go from there. You’ll still be able to satisfy your mother’s rule about eating everything on your plate, as long as you don’t start out with so much.
When you eat, grab a seat and power everything down. You can’t truly appreciate and savor your food if you’re on the run, taking mouthfuls in between checking your e-mails and your social media.
Before you dig in, take a moment to consider what’s on your plate. Build a little anticipation for what’s to come so that you enjoy your food more. There’s no sense in going to your favorite sushi place only to disregard the wonderful presentation that’s designed to perfectly set off the flavors.
And, as long as you’re grabbing a look, why not bring your nose in on the process. Smell your food, and allow your brain and your body to prepare for the delights ahead.
Beginning with your first forkful, place your food in your mouth and take some time chewing. The taste buds on your tongue don’t normally have much of a chance to experience food, react, and send pleasant messages to your brain when you eat quickly.
Your tongue is designed to process different tastes in different areas, such as sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. Your tongue then sets your saliva in motion accordingly to better help you process your food. If you bypass this process, you’re unable to enjoy your food, and you’re missing out on valuable digestive tools.
Once you’ve engaged your taste, sight, and smell, why not add feeling into this? Food has texture, and it’s often pleasant. The crunch of a chip, the creaminess of a pudding -- these textures can add to your overall eating experience in wonderful ways if you allow them.
It also helps you slow down your eating by becoming more aware of every sensation.
In between each bite, put your fork, or your sandwich, down so that you can truly experience the food that’s in your mouth. When you’ve completely tasted, chewed, and swallowed your food, you can start on your next mindful bite.
If you train yourself not to bolt up from eating so you can get to the next item on your to-do list, you allow your body some quiet time to feel satisfied. This satisfaction is something you can take with you from your meal, making you feel happier, and perhaps less likely to indulge in a snack in an hour or two.
While you’re at it, spend a moment in gratitude for the meal you just ate. You’re lucky to have limitless food, whenever you want, and the more you appreciate that fact, the more you’ll come to truly enjoy your food.
Mindful eating is a wonderful practice that allows you to spend a few quiet moments nourishing your body and enjoying the experience.
For more weight loss tips, please call us here at Marin Weight Loss & Wellness, or use the online scheduling tool to book an appointment.
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