Gulping a latte on the way to work, chomping a sandwich between meetings, munching on your kid’s fries on the way to soccer practice only to collapse, stressed, at the end of the day with a bag of chocolate chip cookies. Is it any wonder you feel tired, overwhelmed, and bloated?
Eating mindlessly is not only a result of a busy lifestyle. It is often used to soothe unwanted emotions and feelings; A bag of chips when you frantically trying to meet a deadline or a pint of ice cream when you feel sad or lonely. And while eating mindlessly can give you a quick fix, it often contributes to a host of longer-term physical issues such as weight gain, poor digestion, fatigue, and poor sleep. But what does it mean to eat mindfully and with intention? Mindful eating includes:
- Eating slowly and without distraction.
- Listening to physical hunger cues and eating only until you’re full.
- Distinguishing between true hunger and non-hunger triggers for eating.
- Engaging your senses by noticing colors, smells, sounds, textures, and flavors.
- Eating for health and well-being.
- Noticing the effects food has on your feelings and body.
- Appreciate your food.
Small changes in your eating patterns will make a big difference. This week choose three meals and try one or more of these mindful eating tips:
- Eat your meal at a table.
- Turn off all distractions while you eat, including laptops, phones, and TV (Ted Lasso will wait).
- Put your fork down for a moment between each bite.
- Utilize dimmer lighting or candles to create a relaxing atmosphere.
We all lead busy and stressful lives, and eating mindfully is not easy. In fact, it is a habit that might take practice for some people. But take a moment and slow down; your mind and body will thank you for it.
By: Sherri Sacconaghi, Creative Strategist at EPB&B Insurance, and former Health and Fitness Coach.