Last week, we focused on what mindful eating is and this week we’re here to share some practical ways you can begin implementing this. Next time you visit a CulinArt cafe, grab your meal, find a seat and try out some of the tips below!
Slow down – sometimes we are constantly rushing from one thing to the next. Meal times should be when we take a breath and slow it all down. Even if you start with one meal a day, small steps lead to big changes. Try sitting down, noticing how you chew your food, and putting your fork down between bites, and see how it affects your meal.
No distractions – there is only so much time in the day to fit in everything we want to do. Multitasking could be beneficial in some cases, but when it comes to meal times, it may distract us from appreciating and tasting our foods. This may cause us to feel hungry and unsatisfied, despite just finishing a meal. Try to turn everything off during your meal and just pay attention to the food in front of you. Do you taste a difference?
Use all five senses – we all know what our food tastes like, right? But, have you ever really used all five senses when eating a meal? If we smell, look, taste, feel, and even hear how the food sounds when we chew, we can increase our appreciation for food and maybe enhance the flavor.
Acknowledge hunger and satiety cues – our bodies are smart and have set up cues that let us know when we are hungry and full. Sometimes, those cues can be overridden with external stimulus from the environment. Before eating, ask yourself some questions and assess how you feel. Try keeping a journal to start understanding eating patterns. This mindful practice will help reestablish your internal cues.
Make the commitment to practice mindful eating – mindful eating can seem like an overwhelming task at first, but as it is practiced, it does get easier and becomes more natural. Make the commitment to try some of these mindful techniques each day and see how you feel.
Mindful eating exercises – observe the appearance, texture, smell, and changes in your body as you observe your food. Place a small amount of food in your mouth, but don’t chew it yet! Wait about 30 seconds and then start chewing. How did that compare to how you typically eat? Did you notice any differences in the food you ate?