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Could Eating Mindfully Be The Answer To Eating Healthily?



Could Eating Mindfully Be The Answer To Eating Healthily?

We’ve all been there. We’re watching a film and suddenly that sharing bag of crisps is empty and we’re the only one eating them. Or we’ve dunked those biscuits so heartily whilst catching up on social media and before we know it, half the packet has gone.

Here at Own Your Goals, we’re not fans of attaching guilt to food. But often, when we eat without thinking, we end up feeling guilty and we might even then think, “oh well, I’ve started the day/week ‘badly’, I might as well carry on”, and then we feel even more guilty that we haven’t made the choices we wish we had.

This is so called ‘mindless eating’, which describes the way we eat and the choices we make when we’re not thinking mindfully about food. Mindful eating on the other hand is a way of eating with intention and attention. It allows us to reform our relationship with food, appreciating the appearance, taste, smell and texture of the food we’re eating, eating it more slowly and exploring the feelings we have after eating certain foods.

But it can be hard to practice mindful eating. We all lead busy lives, which makes it even harder to spend time thinking about what we’re eating and when. Especially at the moment during lockdown, when social media is awash with jokes and memes normalising eating pizza for breakfast. However, this isn’t the best strategy if we want to reach our goals. 

So here’s our top tips on mindful eating…

  • Only eat when you’re hungry – this sounds simple, but eating for the sake of it or because it’s a certain time of day can mean that we make poor choices and overeat. Your body will signal to you when it’s hungry, and tuning into these signs will help you make healthy diet decisions.
  • Eat without distractions – turn the TV off, place your phone away from you, remove reading material and always eat at a table where you can. This way your only focus will be on what you’re eating and you’ll be less likely to overeat.
  • Chew each mouthful slowly and explore the flavours and textures in your mouth. When we eat quickly it takes a while for our brain to signal that we’re full, meaning that overeating is common. It will help to put your cutlery down between each mouthful, rather than getting the next forkful ready before you’ve swallowed the previous one.
  • Listen to your body and allow it to tell you how you feel during and after eating. If you feel stuffed and bloated with a gurgling belly, you’ve probably eaten quickly and too much. Get used to feeling nicely full, but not stuffed, and relish this each time you eat – you’ll soon learn portion control, and what size portion is right for you.
  • Think about why you’re eating when it comes to snacking. Are you snacking on sweet and salty comfort foods when you’re stressed or busy? Are you picking all day because you’re busy and not planning your meals? Are you emotionally eating as a comfort?

Mindful eating will help you connect emotionally with the food you eat and allow you to make the right decisions that leave you feeling full and satisfied, without those horrible self-imposed feelings of guilt. You’ve totally got this!

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