Mindful Eating Habits

Are we treating our bodies the way they deserve?

We worry about how many pounds overweight we are, yet we thoughtlessly grab food as we rush out of the house. Too often we prefer a quick meal at a drive through rather than packing a healthy meal. We keep easy snacks handy in the cabinets so we can munch on something when we arrive home tired after work. We want something easy and quick to eat and drink when we sit down to watch a movie or catch up on our social media. Yet we totally ignore what our bodies truly need: Nutrition. What can we do to change these bad habits and give our bodies an energizing, healthy chance to function more beautifully for us?

Start by eating with intention. Think about when, where,why, and how you eat.  

Mindful Eating Habits

Here are some thoughtful ways to get started on your path to mindful eating. 

Eat with Intention 

~Eat slowly and don’t rush your meals. It is a good practice to set down your fork or spoon between bites. 

~Chew thoroughly. Focus on the act of chewing each bite. 

Acknowledge when and what you eat 

~Use all your senses when you eat. Be sure to observe how the food tastes. Sight, smell, and texture are all part of the eating experience. 

~Be aware of how quickly you eat. Make mealtime an enjoyable, relaxing experience of its own -- not just something you do mindlessly while doing other things. Make eating an intentional act that you consider an essential part of your day. 

~Cook your own meals. Avoid packaged meals from the frozen food section. One of my doctor friends told me that you might as well be eating cardboard. There is very little taste or nutrition in those packages. The potential nutrients have been processed out and additives included for taste. On the other hand, chopping fresh vegetables can be quite therapeutic. Fresh meals prepared at home are better for you. 

~Drink a large glass of purified, filtered water before a meal. Your body needs plenty of water (at least 8 glasses a day). Often when you think your body is hungry, you are actually in need of hydration. Avoid bottled water, though, because they leak chemicals into your drink and are bad for the environment. Puritii Water Filtration System is my favorite. I carry my water bottle around 24/7.

Create healthy habits

~Eliminate distractions by turning off the screens. Focus on the food and your intentional act of providing nutrition for your body. Avoid the urge to be watching something on the screen. Be present in your time and space.

~Plan and prep your meals for the week. This will allow you to have healthy food available when you feel hungry and eat healthy even if you are in a hurry. Make a list of what healthy foods you will want for the week before you go to the grocery store. Plan a regular shopping day to visit your grocery store and farmers market, if you are lucky enough to have one nearby. Avoid the temptation to throw unhealthy snacks into the cart. Turn it into a fun adventure whenever you can.

~Choose healthy snacks to satisfy those cravings. Throw out any bags of those extra sugary treats that your mouth may crave but your body hates. Your body does not know how to properly eliminate the junk food you feed it, so all those worthless calories get stored in your body as fat. Your liver and your hormones become overworked with trying to cleanse away the toxins. Choose healthy. Fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds, and nuts make the best snacks for your body. 

~Keep a food journal. This can help you track what you eat, when you focus on healthy choices, and how often you resort to bad food and unhealthy habits. A popular food journal is Hello New Me: A Daily Food & Exercise Journal to Help You Become the Best Version of You.

~Learn what foods are healthy for you. Keep handy a list of which foods are healthy to eat and which foods you want to avoid. I recommend the Slenderiiz food plan and supplements. You can eat all the food you need as long as it is good food. The Slenderiiz drops help reduce the craving, balance your hormones, reset your metabolism, and refresh the B Vitamins you may need to re-energize you.

Discover Slenderiiz to help you release unwanted pounds and inches

Listen to your body 

~Focus on how food makes you feel. Do you feel bloated and sluggish after eating? Do you want to take a nap? Maybe you still feel hungry and not satisfied. Wouldn't you rather eat nutritious food that energizes you and leaves you feeling satisfied and maybe even happy? 

~Stop eating when you’re full. Ignore the nagging voice in your head reflecting the adults in your childhood that told you that you must clean up your plate before you can leave the table. 

~Be non-judgmental with yourself around eating. Let your body know how much you appreciate all that it does and can do for you. Show your appreciation by providing your body with the nourishment it needs. 

~Ask yourself why you are eating, whether you are actually hungry, and whether or not the food you chose is truly healthy. 

Take time for gratitude 

~Be grateful. Stop and give thanks for everything that went into your meal. Be thankful to the farmers who cared for the crops, the grocers who carefully stocked the food, the people who provided the ingredients and those who prepared the meal. 

~Thank your body for growing stronger and more energetic with each healthy, nutritious meal you mindfully eat. Be healthy, be happy, and feel the joy and gratitude that come with caring about what you eat. 

This list was adapted from "17 Helpful Tips of Mindful Eating" from Aetheion Blog, December 8, 2021