Earlier this month, I had the honor of speaking at the Primary Monthly Members Networking Luncheon, which is a monthly, healthy food-catered networking event where attendees have a chance to talk about what they do and what their ideal “ask” is for their particular business or project. There’s always a part of the luncheon where a member of the community speaks about an informative topic of their expertise, in addition to another member who presents various wellness tips. As this month’s wellness tip speaker, I decided to talk about some of the mindful eating tips that I learned and practiced during my weight loss journey, and still practice today. These tips will help you to live an overall healthier lifestyle and will help prevent weight gain and the discomfort of overeating.
1. Avoid Distractions. Try not to use your phone or watch TV while you eat. Pay full attention to your food so that you can savor it and it doesn’t disappear by the next commercial break or at the end of your timeline! If you do need to use your phone, take a break from your food, then resume eating once you put your phone down.
2. Eat more slowly. You’ll notice that you feel full faster when you take your time to eat. Your body will have more time to process the satiety hormone (leptin) and you will likely notice that you’re full before your plate is cleared. Some helpful tips to eat more slowly are:
- Sit at a table to eat. When you’re sitting at a table, you’re much more likely to be relaxed and focused than if you’re standing, moving around, or even sitting on a couch with the plate on your lap. Sitting down allows you to take your time and enjoy each and every bite.
- Put your utensil or handheld food down between each bite. You’ll force yourself to slow down by delaying the next incoming nosh. Often times, we take a bite and we’ve already prepared the next one on our fork, and sometimes we even put the next forkful in before we’ve finished chewing the last one. Taking your time to slowly savor your food will help you to feel fuller much more quickly.
- Drink water between bites. Hydration is super important in all aspects of life, but it can also help you to eat more slowly and notice your fullness cues. Drinking water during a meal has been shown to help you slow down, fill you up even more, and may even help with digestion to prevent bloating. It’s a win-win-win!
3. Enjoy every bite and appreciate the flavors. Food is not only necessary to our existence, but it’s become an art form – so much that humans have created countless delicious recipes and “Food Stylist” is a career path! When you eat, whether it be a light and healthy dish or an indulgent meal, try your best to savor each mouthful. What flavors do you taste? Is it a satisfying texture? Being present with your food will allow you to be more in tune with yourself and your bodily cues, and it will be easier to stop yourself from becoming overstuffed – we all know how that food baby (stomachache) feels!
4. Recognize when you’re full, accept it, and get excited that you have leftovers! Sometimes, it’s truly hard to throw in the napkin and call it quits. But it’s not “goodbye”, it’s “’til next time”! Now you can enjoy this meal AGAIN tomorrow (or maybe later if you’re feeling like having seconds)! Added bonus: you’ll feel great and also proud of yourself for doing so!
These tips will help you to eat more mindfully, save money (by having another meal to enjoy later), prevent overeating (and that stomach pain that accompanies it), and live a much healthier lifestyle. Happy eating, everyone!