Mindful Eating Tips
Continuing with our series on mindful eating, this is part two of a three-part series. If you missed part one you can use this link to see the tips from last week. Here are three more things to think about before you take that first bite of food.
Don’t eat to reward yourself
I’ll start out today with a confession; I used to do this one all the time, especially when I was training for a big run. Having the mindset of “I exercised today so I can have XYZ treat” is a very bad habit to get yourself into. Not only are you probably overindulging but you are also not taking into account that you needed that exercise to burn the other calories you ate during the day. Food should be eaten because you are hungry and you enjoy it, not as a reward for doing something. I’m not saying you shouldn’t go out to dinner for your birthday or to celebrate an anniversary, that is different, that is a celebration and not a reward. Find something else to reward yourself with, because you do deserve a reward for your hard work. Think about scheduling a massage, buying a new pair of workout pants, or maybe just time sitting and relaxing with a good book.
Are you hungry or are you thirsty?
Before you reach for something to eat try drinking a glass of water first. There is a good chance that you are really just thirsty and the glass of water will satisfy that urge to eat. Be careful with this one and notice I said have a glass of water. You don’t want to be loading up on unnecessary calories with a sugary juice or sports drink. If you are not a huge fan of water try flavoring your water with fruit or, my favorite, cucumbers. Remember to be mindful of the choice you make for that thirst-quenching drink.
The kitchen is closed
Sometimes you just have to tell yourself that the kitchen is CLOSED for the day. I think you would agree with me when I say that a lot of mindful eating happens in the evening, after dinner, while you are relaxing watching TV, reading a book, etc. Set parameters around what your evening snack may be and what time you will no longer allow yourself a snack. Snacking while watching TV is a habit, it is most likely not being done out of hunger.
Doing a hobby that involves your hands may be helpful in this respect too. When I crochet I can’t eat at the same time because both hands are busy. Doing something to relax that involves your hands may help keep your hands out of the cookie jar!
You now have six simple steps you can take to be more mindful before eating. It’s about making little changes in your daily routine, that you can sustain over time, that will help you be healthy BEFORE you NEED to be healthy.