Mindful eating is a technique that helps you gain control over your eating habits. It has been shown to help with weight loss, reduce binge eating and help you feel better.
Mindful eating consists of being aware of your mind and body while eating. Eating slowly is one of the best ways to start mindful eating. Many people tend eat quickly and serve themselves more because they still feel hungry.
Eating slowly gives your brain ample time to process that you are full. Research shows it takes 20 minutes for your brain to process fullness. Additionally, eating slowly allows you to be more satisfied when you finish eating because you acknowledged and enjoyed each bite.
Tips on how to slow down:
- Change something in your eating environment: Changing aspects of your eating environment (such as using a cloth napkin instead of a paper one) will serve as a reminder to eat slowly. Every time you remember the reasons why you have a cloth napkin rather than a paper one, it will remind you to eat slowly.
- Set a timer to beep every one to three minutes: The beep will remind you to put down your utensils and wait 10 to 30 seconds before picking them up again.
- Pay attention to your body: When you eat, be mindful of how you feel when you’re beginning to feel full and be conscious of that feeling when eating so you know when to stop, even if there is still food left. Distractions are big obstacles when tackling mindful eating because it is very easy to get distracted while eating, especially when eating alone. Eating with distractions can greatly diminish your satisfaction after you finish your food.
- Eat in a relaxed atmosphere: The lower your stress, easier it is to pay attention to the food you’re eating. Every person is different but what works for most people is eating in a quiet and calm environment.
- Focus intently on your food: Truly appreciate and relish in the food you’re eating. Be mindful of the textures and flavors of the food you’re eating.
- Train yourself to eat without distractions: Avoid putting yourself in situations that can serve as a distraction. For example, refrain from reading, watching TV, or being on your phone when eating so you can be mindful of the food only.
If slowing down your eating is a challenge for you, try reminding yourself to put down your utensils several times during the meal as well as waiting 10 to 30 seconds before continuing.
Take it step by step and if you feel that you’re eating too quickly or mindlessly, try and catch yourself so you can get better for the next meal!
Working with a therapist and formulating a plan for change can be extremely helpful in succeeding with mindfulness practices.
If you think that you or someone you love is suffering from an eating disorder (including binge eating, anorexia, bulimia, etc), don’t hesitate to get help. Eating disorders can lead to serious issues. It is always advised to seek the advice of a professional for potential medical and mental health disorders.
For more information, advice, and resources on mindful eating, binge eating, anorexia, bulimia contact, and compulsive eating, contact Epic Wellness Clinic to be connected with a licensed therapist who is ready to help. Epic Wellness Clinic is located in Miami Beach however they also provide online and phone counseling. A good therapist can help you become stronger and more self-aware. So call today!