March is National Nutrition month and this year, we are putting an emphasis on mindful eating. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics themed March, "Savor the Flavor of Eating Right". So why is mindful eating beneficial to our overall health and how exactly do we begin to eat mindfully?
Mindful eating is the process in which you intentionally make yourself aware of your thoughts, feelings and actions while eating.
Why is mindful eating important?
Most recent research shows that those who eat slowly and mindfully tend toeat lesstherefore helping us to lose weight, boost energy levels and prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease and type II diabetes.
Eating mindfully helps us listen to your internal hunger cues and avoid eating out of emotions such as boredom, stress or "I had a hard day, I deserve that piece of cake".
It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to tell your stomach "I'm full!"
How can we begin to eat mindfully?
Be in the moment: my husband will be the first one to tell you, I'm all about getting rid of devices at the dinner table! Eliminating distractions while eating, whether it's the TV, phone, laptop or a book, helps ensure that you will be able to fully enjoy your food.
Savor your food: pay attention to the taste, flavor, texture and smell of your food and savor every bite. Try to eat slowly by putting your fork down between bites and only picking it back up again once you've swallowed your food.
Observe yourself: ask yourself, am I hungry? Tired? Stressed? And if you find yourself eating out of emotion rather than hunger, find something else to relieve that emotion such as calling a friend, walking or reading.
Don't judge yourself: consciously make your food choices and know that it's OK to choose the treat every once in awhile.
Pay attention to portion size: opt for the salad plate instead of the dinner plate to keep portions small or order the appetizer size portion in order to avoid over eating.
For more tips on eating mindfully or to inquire about weight loss and healthy lifestyle changes, contact me today: