LIFESTYLE: Eating Mindfully

Eating mindfully, that is, with purposeful awareness, is an important way to stay healthy. The following are some suggestions for mindful eating:

1.         Eat only when you are hungry.

2.         Learn to assess the seven hungers: eye, nose, mouth, stomach, body/cellular, mind and heart (See Jan Chozen Bays’s Mindful Eating).

3.         Choose foods wisely. Review a food guide such as the following: Canada’s Food Guide.

4.         Take time to prepare your own meals, using fresh ingredients, emphasizing quality, selecting smaller quantities, and trying different kinds of food.

5.         Appreciate the appearance (colours, textures) and the fragrance of the food.

6.         At meal times, sit down at a table, be present and give the food your full attention. Avoid doing other things, for example, reading the newspaper, or checking your electronic messages.

7.         Express gratitude to all involved in the creation and delivery of the food and to those who prepared the meal.

8.         Enjoy each mouthful, savoring the flavour and texture of the food. Eat smaller portions. Chew your food well before you swallow. Put down your cutlery between mouthfuls as a way to slow down.

9.         Be attentive to your body, mind, thoughts and feelings as you eat.  This will help to determine when you have eaten enough.

10.       Eat until you are 2/3 full. Drink some liquid.  Leave some food on the plate if you feel satisfied with the amount you have eaten.

11.       Talk and share your experiences about the food you are eating with those at the table. Discuss the colors, textures, fragrances, and tastes of the food.

12.       Create intervals of at least several hours when you are fully engaged in activities without feeling hungry and thinking about food.

13.       Strive to maintain a healthy weight. Do a self-evaluation by using such tools such as those found on: Your BMI – Dietitians of Canada

14.       To lose weight, decrease the energy (food and drink) that flows into your body and/or increase the energy that flows out of your body (movement, exercise). (See Energy Equation in Jan Chozen Bays’s Mindful Eating).

15.       Accept yourself as you are, be kind to yourself as you develop understanding and learn to make any needed changes in your eating habits.

References

For more information, check out these references:

1. Dr. Susan Albers: www.eatingmindfully.com

2. The Center for Mindful Eating: www.tcme.org

3. Canada Food Guide: Healthy eating resources

4. Mindful Eating: What is Mindful Eating? | 8 Mindful Eating Facts‎

Article Prepared by Wally Lazaruk, July 2019