With the holidays fast approaching, many of you are probably thinking fondly of the bounty of food you will be consuming. But, if you wear elastic waistbands to dinner and eat until your stomach hurts, you might want to start being a little more mindful. Sure, the holidays are a special occasion but it may be that you overeat at other times as well. Don't be ashamed, you aren't alone. If you want to change your ways but don't know how, start with these 5 tips:
1. Do a quick body scan before you start eating.
Check in with yourself. If you feel tense, anxious, nervous or any other unsettling emotion, take a time out. Take note of where you are holding the stress and breathe into it. Release the tension. Doing this means you are likely to start your meal in a calmer state and eat your meal more slowly. Eating slowly allows your brain to receive the signal from your stomach that it is full and prevents you from overeating.
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2. Take a minute to be thankful for your food.
Like doing a relaxing body scan, gratitude can set the tone for your meal. Before you eat, stop and thank the universe for your meal or say to yourself "I love my food and my food loves me." Take the moment to acknowledge all that your food is doing to keep you happy and healthy.
3. Decide whether you even like what you are eating.
Take a bite and decide if you even like it enough to have more. Don't eat it just because it is there. If you love it, have another bite and savor it. If the food doesn't taste right or isn't prepared to your satisfaction, don't eat it. Ali Katz, self-care coach and mindfulness expert, uses French fries as an example. "We have all had amazingly delicious fries before. They are piping hot with the perfect amount of salt. They are worth it! Most of us have also had cold, mushy fries that are 100 percent not worth it. Those are the ones we eat and then feel a wave of guilt wash over us." If the food isn't worth it, don't eat it.
4. Limit technology use while you eat.
We are much more mindful about our eating when we focus on our eating. The enjoyment factor goes up! The taste and smell of the food becomes more much noticeable. Make eating your main event, not something you do while watching television. Being mindful also means sitting down to eat and not eating over a bag or a box. Decide how much of something you are going to have and then portion it out onto a plate.
5. Follow the in/out rule.
When you eat super healthy at home, there is room to splurge once in a while while you're out. Behave inside your home, treat yourself when out of it. It can be a slippery, treacherous slope having treats on hand at home. Often times we will over-indulge in private. Keeping a junk-free home means that when you are out for dinner and see a dessert you'd like, you can have it without feeling guilt. This will allow you to eat healthy most of the time while indulging once or twice a week. You won't have to feel deprived this way and you definitely won't have to feel guilt!
Do you think these rules could help you eat more mindfully?
Source: Mind Body Green
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