Mindfulness, when it comes to health, means paying attention to the present moment with intention. It means noticing how your mental, physical and spiritual health is doing at a particular time and addressing any concerns you have. Mindful eating is a good habit to have, especially as we enter the holiday season and stress builds.
Follow these tips to be more mindful while eating or choosing to eat:
· Notice your cravings and track them.
· Minimize distractions by pausing and focusing on present moment.
· Set a goal to help you achieve satisfaction before you eat.
· Check portion sizes; use smaller plates.
· Create “mindful pauses” before, during and after eating.
· Be aware of your hunger and fullness levels before, during and after eating.
· Slow down your chewing and eating habits; put down utensils between bites.
· Eat a peppermint or a small amount of fruit (berries, melon) at the end of the meal to help your mind transition that eating time is over.
· Create a personal “I’m done” signal to help you finish your meal and not overeat. (For example: put your napkin over your plate or put the food away.)
· Express “mindful attitudes” of self-compassion, non-judgement, kindness, patience, joy and gratitude.
Use the suggestions above to help with mindful eating habits. In addition, practice the HALT method to avoid overeating or eating unhealthy when you find yourself becoming stressed. HALT helps when you need to ask yourself or others if you may be hungry, angry, lonely or tired. Be mindful and attentive this month and through the remainder of the year.