If you’re anything like me, you’re pretty hardcore in life! You work hard, play hard, crash hard.
When you’re busy conquering the world (aka hitting one rep maxes, meal prepping, macro tracking and all that other ‘actionable’ stuff that seems to have an obvious return on investment)…
Who has time for hokey stuff like meditation or mindful eating, right?!
But hold on right there… what about when all that other stuff isn’t getting you the results you want? Or what about when all that hardcore stuff gets tiring (even superman needs a break sometimes)?
You’ll be happy to know (you type A, pragmatic geek, you!) that there is amazing science that proves the benefits of mindful eating:
It really is impressive! So… perhaps giving this hokey mindful eating thing a go is a worthy investment in one’s time after all 😁
Aside from the evidence, at Build we’re all about practical real life tools to help us implement the science… so here are our
Google it and you’ll find loads of suggestions for mindful eating. Different things work for different people, so we actually go over many of them in our Lunchbox Challenge where we focus only on Mindful Eating for an entire month! As always, the Lunchbox is all about helping you implement the fundamentals consistently (we help you stick with it every day for a month!) so that you build sustainable habits.
But these two below are our favorite tried and true practical methods of making mindful eating a part of your daily routine. Try one way for a couple weeks and then try the other, see what feels best for you. Start with a goal to make it a practice for at least one meal and one snack per day, and see if you can work it up to every time you eat.
This is also a common exercise to help with anxiety (no intended correlation). But it does work to help us eat more mindfully too. As you sit down to eat, think about your five senses one at a time — sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste.
SIGHT: look at your food. Really look at it! Notice the color, the shape, the portion size, and anything else (maybe the cool plate it’s on).
HEARING: listen to any sounds around you. Is it nice and quiet and peaceful, or is the tv blaring? ps: the more calm your surroundings when you eat, the better you digest your food (yup, there’s actual science behind this but that’s another blog post to explore sometime!)
TOUCH: have fun with this! Touch your food, your fork, your partner sitting next to you! Simply acknowledge the feels.
SMELL: ahhh this is an easy one. How does your food smell? Are you starting to salivate?
TASTE: Finally. With each bite, take the time to slow down and chew it. Spend time enjoying the flavours and textures in your mouth. Savour every bite (this part’s my fav)!
You need not spend an hour eating, but even a brief moment on each of your senses gives you time to fully experience your food. The best part – you’ll be more apt to notice how your body feels as you eat, and stop when you feel comfortably full. A win-win!
BONUS – we’ve got the next one in a FREE download for you! Click to download!
This one is all about being intentional. It’s a simple list of do’s and do not’s (the pragmatic approach we all love).
1) SIT DOWN. Put food on a plate and have a seat! When you are seated, you tend to be more in-the-moment. Avoid nibbling in front of the fridge or snacking on the go. You will enjoy your food more and tend to stick within appropriate portions for you when you give eating your full attention – and that’s more likely to happen when you’re sitting down to eat. Motto: “If you’re on your feet, you don’t eat.”
2) SLOW DOWN. Research says that the first bite is the most flavourful and rewarding. Often we overeat because we eat so fast! This doesn’t give the brain time to fully enjoy the experience. Also, the brain doesn’t get the “I’m satiated” message. There’s a couple ways to slow down your chewing and your eating experience in general.
One – eat with your non-dominant hand. Research shows that eating with your opposite hand can reduce how much you eat by 30%! Because you’re naturally slowing down and being more attentive.
Two – put your fork down on your plate between bites. We often have the next fork or spoonful already loaded up and ready to shove into our mouths before we’re even finished chewing the previous bite!
Three – count your chews and aim for 10 per bite. Motto: “Pace, don’t race.”
3) SAVOR. Turn off the TV and other distractions. Notice and look at each spoonful. Take a bite. Notice the smell, texture, taste. This step is like the one above – activating your senes. Motto: “When you eat, just eat.”
4) SIMPLIFY. Set yourself up for success with mindful eating by making it easy to do so. Place healthy foods in a convenient place like on the counter or in a fruit bowl. Put treats out of view to cut down on mindlessly picking at them. Research suggests that people tend to eat what is in their immediate reach. Motto: “In sight, in mind. Out of sight, out of mind.”
5) SMILE. Hokey or not, it works. Try it! Aside from all the feel-good vibes – which helps our bodies be in rest & digest mode instead of fight or flight mode (which also improves the biochemistry of digestion), smiling can create a brief pause between your bites – giving you time to notice if you’re satisfied. Motto: “Take a breath, to manage stress.”
Which methodology feels like it might work for you? Let us know with a comment in our community Facebook group. Or better yet – join the Lunchbox and practice mindful eating for an entire month with us!
The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Build Holistic Nutrition. Please note that Build Nutrition is not a dietitian, physician, pharmacist or other licensed healthcare professional. The information on this website is NOT intended as medical advice, nor is it intended to replace the care of a qualified health care professional. This content is not intended to diagnose or treat any diseases. Always consult with your primary care physician or licensed healthcare provider for all diagnosis and treatment of any diseases or conditions, for medications or medical advice, as well as before changing your health care regimen.
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