Everyone’s relationship with food is unique. Some people may love the act of cooking and eating a meal, some people may not know how to cook, and others may feel eating is just another item on their to-do list. Unfortunately, many of us tend to rush through our meals, often sitting in front of the TV or focusing on other things when eating, and that usually means we’re not really enjoying our food or paying attention to our physical response to it.
One way to improve that is to eat mindfully. Mindful eating focuses on an individual’s awareness and their experience with food. There are many ways to achieve mindfulness while eating. One of the most valuable methods is intuitive eating, which is a natural way to connect with your mind, body, and soul. It can also help you understand exactly what your body needs.
Intuitive eating promotes a healthy attitude towards food and body image. With intuitive eating, you only eat when you are hungry, eat exactly what you are craving, and then stop eating once you are full and satisfied. Intuitive eating encourages you to focus on your bodily needs, which vary from day to day.
Below are tips on how to eat mindfully.
Buy Your Own Ingredients
The first step to mastering the art of mindful eating is to hit the grocery store and purchase a wide array of healthy ingredients. By purchasing your own ingredients, you know exactly what is going into your food, which means you’ll appreciate it more.
Cook Your Own Meals
Once you have your ingredients, use them! Cooking your own meal helps you understand the steps and care that went into making it, which is a natural step towards eating it mindfully once all that stirring, baking, simmering, chopping, steaming, and sizzling is complete.
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Say Pre-Meal Affirmations
One of the central premises of mindful eating is to appreciate the meal in front of you. One way to do this is to say affirmations before eating your meal. For example, saying, “I am grateful for the food I have in front of me,” or “I am excited and pleased to eat this meal,” creates an air of positivity around your meal, which will likely help you enjoy it even more.
Taking your time eating a meal ensures you truly taste each of the unique ingredients. One way to do that is to thoroughly chew each mouthful, noting each and every flavor. The longer you chew each bite, the more flavors you’re apt to recognize.
Eat Smaller Portions
Put a smaller helping on your plate from the start. Then, once you are finished eating, pause for a bit and tune into your body to see if you’re satisfied or still hungry. You should also take smaller bites and set your utensil down between each bite, allowing your body to fully digest the meal before considering getting seconds.
Listen to Your Body
One of the most essential elements of mindful eating is to listen to your body and its senses throughout the process. What does the food smell like? What does it look like? What is its texture? How does it taste? Noticing each of these things will naturally ensure you’re slowing down, eating mindfully, and fully relishing each and every meal.
Following these tips will go a long way towards helping you become a mindful eater as well as all the benefits that go with slowing down to truly savor your meals.