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12 Ways to Eat More Mindfully

12 Ways to Eat more Mindfully and maintain better health and weight

12 Ways to Eat More Mindfully

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12 Ways to Eat more MindfullyDid you know that how you eat can impact your health and weight almost as much as what you eat?

 

Today we are always in a rush and with that comes the temptation to eat fast and make unhealthy food choices on the go. As a result, we often consume too many calories and miss out on the balanced nutrition we need to stay fit, focused and healthy.

 

The way to change this is to practice more mindful eating practices – planning ahead, improving some of our habits and being more aware of our food can all help make a big difference in our quest to live a healthy and happy life.

 

Here are some simple techniques you can practice :

 

1. Plan ahead

Plan your meals ahead to help you ensure that you have a balanced nutrition throughout the day. If you know you have an indulgent meal coming up, perhaps a work lunch or birthday dinner, then plan to make your other meals that daylight and healthy so your overall intake of calories and nutrients is not thrown off course completely.

 

2. Snack healthy 

Replace the biscuits in your house with fruit, dried fruit and nuts so you aren’t tempted to snack on sugary foods, but instead have some healthy choices readily to hand. If you are leaving the house for more than 2 hours, take some healthy snacks with you – and remember the water too!

 

3. Drink wisely

One can of fizzy drink contains around 10 teaspoons of sugar – almost double your daily-recommended allowance (if you’re a woman). With most food containing some form of sugar, we can end up consuming much more sugar than we can burn off. Being aware of this makes it much easier to opt for water or sparkling water instead.

4. Stay hydrated

Water is the essence of life, it’s essential and we should all aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. Staying hydrated can help stop cravings and overeating too.

 

A healthy herbal tea can be a good alternative too, particularly in the colder winter months. I like Aloe Blossom Herbal Tea, one tea bag makes more than one litre of tea, so I fill my flask and drink it all day.

 

5. Don’t eat in front of the TV

When you are distracted and not being mindful of what you are doing and eating, you’ll tend to eat a lot more calories than you usually would. Instead of eating while in front of the TV or computer, eat at the table so you can place your attention on enjoying the food and company.

 

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6. Use a plate

Linked to the above point, to enhance your enjoyment of eating, use a plate and cutlery instead of eating out of a bag or a box.

 

7. Slow down

When you eat your food quickly, you can outpace your brain. This means that you may be continuing to eat after you are full because you haven’t given your mind chance to send you the signal to stop eating.

 

Try and chew your food more purposefully, take smaller mouthfuls and take small pauses during your meal to slow your pace.

 

8. Try meditation

Sometimes when we are busy or stressed, we will reach for high calorie or sweet foods to make us feel better. Instead, try a short meditation to help restore your balance and rational thinking. The HeadSpace App has lots of guided 10-minute mediations to help.

 

9. Practice gratitude

Taking some time to think about all the many ways your food has come to be on your plate can also make you more mindful and appreciative of your food, and therefore increase your satisfaction and enjoyment, and prevent you from overeating.

 

Think about the people that grew the raw produce, the person who sold the ingredients, the person who created the recipe or the heritage behind a tradition, the person who cooked the food and presented it to you and so on.

 

10. Close your eyes

When taking your first bite, close your eyes. This will help you to pay full attention to the smell, taste and texture of your food, and enhance your pleasure. You can turn this into a game by trying to identify all the different ingredients you are eating.

 

11. Eat fresh

Foods made in factories tend to include ingredients that aren’t so good for your body, so try and eat freshly prepared foods as much as you can. Plan your meals and prepare ahead of time as much as possible, perhaps chopping all your vegetables on a Sunday and putting them in containers ready to use throughout the week.

 

If you have to go for convenience foods, always read the label. Avoid products that contain too many ingredients, especially the kind of ingredients that you can’t pronounce!

 

12. Don’t be too strict

If you are too strict on yourself, it will be hard to stick to a healthy eating plan. So allow yourself the odd treat during your week, but just watch you don’t make it a habit.

 

If you are eating well and exercising 80% of the time, then you can forgive yourself the odd slip up the rest of the time. Life is about enjoyment after all.

 

What healthy eating practices do you have?

Have you tried any of the tools or techniques in this article? Or has something else worked well for you? Share your experiences in teh Comments below!

 

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Monday Motivation - FREE healthy tips, recipes and inspiration
Get the MONDAY MOTIVATION email - it's full of health tips, recipes and
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12 Ways to Eat more Mindfully and maintain better health and weight

  1. Linda Luke on November 10, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Thanks for these lovely tips. I do pretty well with most of them, but still find myself snacking in front of the TV at night. Time to set a cutoff time to my eating!

    • Melitta Campbell on November 10, 2017 at 3:43 pm

      Thanks Linda. I think if you’re good 80% of the time, you can let yourself off the odd bad habit ; )

  2. Mary on November 11, 2017 at 5:11 am

    Sometimes I eat in front of the computer. 🙁

    • Melitta Campbell on November 13, 2017 at 10:41 am

      The computer isn’t quite as bad as the TV as you are being more active than when you’re watching TV and mindlessly eating more than you otherwise would. But do watch out for crumbs in the keyboard ; )

  3. Mihaela Echols on November 12, 2017 at 12:21 am

    I think that if you can get number one everything falls in place. Planning is Key.

    • Melitta Campbell on November 13, 2017 at 10:43 am

      Yes, I think you’re right Mihaela. Planning ahead makes everything else so much easier – and so much more likely to actually happen.

  4. Blair on November 24, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    This is a great list! I especially like the last one because I feel like people go on these crash diets and limit themselves and it ends up making them want the bad foods more.

    • Melitta Campbell on November 26, 2017 at 9:20 am

      Thanks Blair. And I totally agree. I’ve known a lot of people who were so strict with themselves they were miserable and couldn’t strict to their regime long-term. Much better to find a balance that works for you.

  5. [email protected] on November 26, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Always eat at the dinner table. One of the best things I have done when bringing up my children is to sit down as a family at the table and eat home cooked food. They can now all cook well and take care about what they eat. And I always plan a menu for the week and shop accordingly. It definitely saves money and makes it easy for me to know what i am cooking when i get home from work.

    • Melitta Campbell on November 27, 2017 at 8:44 am

      Thanks Helen, sounds like you have given your children some wonderful healthy habits.

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