Having a healthier relationship with food can increase your overall wellness. One way to achieve this is to embrace the concept of mindful eating. Being fully aware of the present moment when you are eating can help you avoid overindulging and enhance your enjoyment of food. Consider implementing the following guidelines when you sit down for your next meal.
Don’t Clean Your Plate
While you may feel that not emptying your entire plate is rude, there are health benefits to leaving some of your food behind. Overindulging is the exact opposite of mindful eating and can cause weight gain, which leads to more serious health issues. Doctors like Dominique Fradin Read recommend that you don't finish all portions on your plate and instead put it aside when you feel full.
Stop Eating When You Are Full
It can be easy to confuse eating for pleasure with eating for fuel. The key is to know what your body feels like when your stomach is full and to stop eating when you receive that signal. Take time to connect with the sensations in your body as you eat. With some time and discipline, you will be able to train yourself to walk away from your plate before you overstuff yourself.
Engage Your Senses
Using all your senses to fully connect with the experience of eating is one of the best ways to bring mindfulness to your table. Notice the colours, textures and smell of your food. Consider where your food came from and the journey it took to end up on your plate. Chew thoughtfully and take time to analyze the flavour of the meal. Finally, swallow slowly and take some time to consider your emotions around the food you have just eaten.
Turning off the TV and silencing your cell phone at dinner can go a long way towards eating in a more mindful and meditative manner. When you are distracted, you are more likely to overeat and ignore your body signalling to you that you are full. Make the table an electronics-free zone so you can focus on your food and the people who are eating with you.
Mindfulness can truly change your whole relationship with eating by making you healthier, increasing your gratitude for the meals on your plate and helping you connect with your feelings about food. Take some time to make some simple shifts in your eating habits and watch as your wellness improves.