In the busyness of our daily lives, mealtime is often reduced to a hurried task squeezed between appointments and responsibilities. We grab meals on the go, multitask while eating, and rarely take a moment to truly appreciate the fuel our bodies receive.
Mindful eating is a simple and powerful way to transform your relationship with food and lose weight at the same time.
It doesn’t involve restrictive diets or extreme measures, just 5 simple steps that anyone can do.
These five steps – sit down, take a deep breath, tune in, slow down, and reflect – are not about what you eat, but how you eat. They form the cornerstone of mindful eating, offering a holistic approach that nourishes both your body and soul.
Please join me for this live recording (14 mins) where I discuss 5 steps to lose weight with mindful eating.
Or for a brief outline, read on…
1: Sit down
The simple act of sitting down to eat sets the stage for a deeper connection with our food and our body.
- When we sit down we create a dedicated and intentional space for our meal free from distractions and rush.
- Sitting promotes a relaxed state, which is crucial for effective digestion. It shifts our body out of ‘fight or flight’ mode, reducing stress hormones that can hinder nutrient absorption and lead to overeating.
- When sitting down we’re more likely to eat less food because we’re more conscious of how much we’re eating.
- When we’re eating on the go, we eat faster and we’re more likely to overeat, thus making us hungrier sooner.
2: Take a deep breath
Taking a deep breath before each meal is a habit that can significantly enhance our eating experience. It serves as a valuable pause button in our hectic lives, allowing us to transition from the fast pace of the day to a more centred and present state.
- A deep breath activates the relaxation response and calms the nervous system.
- It primes your mind to fully engage with the meal ahead.
- Brings your mind to the present to fully engage with the meal ahead.
3: Tune in
While enjoying your deep breath, take a moment to pause and disconnect from distractions and bring yourself completely into the present moment. A good way to do this, is to tune in to your 5 senses:
- What can I hear?
- What can I see?
- what can I smell?
- What can I feel?
- What can I taste?
By consciously checking in with our physical sensations we become more aware of our true hunger and satiety cues. This heightened self-awareness allows us to differentiate between eating out of habit, boredom, or stress, and eating to genuinely nourish our body.
4: Slow down
We often rush through meals, barely tasting or appreciating what we eat. When we intentionally slow down, we give our body and mind the chance to work in sync. This allows us to thoroughly chew our food, aiding in better digestion and nutrient absorption.
Slowing down also gives our brain the opportunity to receive signals of fullness in a timely manner, preventing overeating. It allows us to savour the textures and flavours of our food, leading to a more satisfying and pleasurable eating experience.
- Put knife and fork down between mouthfuls (or if eating with hands put the food item down).
- Chew food more thoroughly.
- Take a deep breath every so often.
Taking a moment to reflect after each meal is a great habit that completes the cycle of mindful eating.
This allows us to become more attuned to how our body feels after eating, whether it’s satisfied, comfortably full, or in need of further food. This self-awareness is crucial in helping us fine-tune our eating habits and make adjustments if needed.
Ultimately, this practice of post-meal reflection supports better food choices in the future, setting the stage for improved eating habits and successful weight management.
Now you know how to eat, the next step is what to eat!
We begin a new 4 Week Challenge on the first Monday of each month and you can join me RIGHT NOW!