One of the most helpful habits for managing your weight and health involves paying attention to WHAT and HOW much you eat.
Below are some DietPsyche top tips for transforming yourself from a mindless eater to a MINDFUL EATER!
1. Take the Time
- Allocate time for your food – eating on the run, snacking at your desk, and/or rushing through a takeaway only promotes mindless eating.
- Eat slowly because it takes around 20 minutes after you start eating for chemicals in your stomach to travel to the satiety centre in your brain to tell you that you are “full”. So, eating too quickly often means eating more than your body needs. Try putting your fork down between each bite and become conscious of chewing and really tasting the food you are eating.
2. Make the Space
- Only eat in one place. If you eat when you’re watching tv, or get into the habit of buying a snack at the petrol station when you fill up your car, your body and mind will be cued to eat every time you watch tv or put fuel in your car. Choose one or two places, for example the kitchen at home or the staff room at work where eating occurs.
3. Control Portion Size
- Along with using other behaviours to control how much you eat, controlling your portion size is a key! For snacks, portion out smaller amounts of large packets into a bowl or plate then put the large packet away. At meal times, especially dinner, serve your meal on a smaller plate and do not leave serving dishes of food on the table.
4. Pay Attention While You Eat
- Notice how your food smells, its texture, what it feels like to chew, and how it tastes. Taking the time to do this will increase the enjoyment you get from food, as well as prolong your eating, giving your satiety centre time to switch on and tell you when you have had enough.
5. Don’t Psychologise or Humanise Food
- Food is NOT comfort, an escape from boredom, a reward, or our best friend. Food is not ‘good or bad’, ‘boring or interesting’. It is protein, fat and carbohydrate, replete with vitamins and minerals. We eat to live, not live to eat.
- Let go of self-talk such as “but, I love food” and “I feel deprived when I can’t eat my favourite foods”. When you think about it, such beliefs are not only unhelpful they are ridiculous. It’s a total ‘cop-out’ blaming food for your own lack of self-discipline.
6. Create Good Home and Office Habits
- Environmental strategies work. If the “high joule/calorie” food is not easy to access, you won’t eat it. So keep the coke and chocolate out of sight, and replace it with healthy alternatives such as salad, vegetables, fruit, and water.
© Mindz Matter Pty Ltd