by Carol Lucia Lopez, CHt, PSYCH-K Facilitator, Carol Lucia Frequency Healing
Mindful eating — who has time for that? Well, we should if we want to improve or preserve our health.
Our ability to multitask is something many of us take pride in. However, when it comes to eating, multitasking prevents us from listening to our body’s signals.
We make poor food choices. We eat more than we should because we ignore the signal that we’re full. We forget to be grateful for our bountiful food and all that it takes to get to our table. We eat hurriedly, which negatively impacts digestion and weight management, just finishing the meal so we can move on to the next task.
We eat when we feel emotions we can’t manage — sadness, anger, loneliness, fatigue, stress, overwhelm, anxiety, boredom. We eat emotionally comforting foods — typically sweet, salty, crunchy and/or fatty.
Eating mindfully means slowing down and paying attention to our bodies — being “present” with what we’re doing and eating.
Tips for mindful eating:
- Slow down to get your mind and body to communicate your nutritional needs. It takes about 20 minutes for the brain to receive the satiation signal from the body, which is why we often unconsciously overeat.
- Know your body’s personal hunger signals. Notice whether you’re responding to an emotional want or to your body’s needs.
- Think proactively about your meals and snacks. Sometimes eating out of habit is good, but it depends on what foods you choose.
- Sit down at a table to eat, using a plate or bowl, as opposed to eating out of a container.
- Eat with others whenever possible. Connecting helps you slow down and enjoy food and conversation.
- Consider what you bring into your kitchen and where you store it. Are healthy foods handy? What foods are in sight?
- Understand your motivations around your food choices so you choose foods nutritionally healthy versus emotionally comforting.
- Connect more deeply with your food by considering its source and send gratitude to those involved in the meal, including those who prepared it, stocked the shelves, planted and harvested the raw ingredients, and who delivered it. You might also want to send thanks to Mother Earth and all the elements that make growing your food possible.
- When we’re distracted, it’s harder to listen to the body’s signals about food. Try single-tasking and just eating, with no screens or distractions besides enjoying the food and the company (even if it’s only your own).