Mindful Eating

Recently, whilst eating out at a large and very busy restaurant, I looked around at the diverse group of patrons and noticed a significant number of diners on their phones, mindlessly stuffing bite after bite into their mouths before they’d even finished the last bite.

It made me think that if people were more engaged with what they were eating and the company they were with, would they enjoy their meals more and would it perhaps, make a difference to the obesity epidemic in Australia? What would happen if they were mindful eaters?

What is Mindful Eating?

Mindful eating is the practice of being aware of what we are eating. Listening to our body. Sometimes it takes time for the brain to catch up to the stomach which can lead to overeating if we don’t stop and listen to our body’s signals. Mindful eating increases our awareness of how hungry we truly are and appreciating the flavour, texture and nourishment of the food we are eating. Savouring every bite instead of ploughing down what’s on our plate and finishing it before we realise it’s even all gone!

It allows us to pay attention to how the food makes us feel – our emotions and mood. Are we eating because we are stressed, bored or angry or are we nourishing our body with goodness because our brain is sending us signals it needs energy? There is some evidence that as people adopt mindful eating habits, they find it easier to lose weight.

Try these three tips to start mindful eating today

  1. Eat Slower. Meal times should be enjoyed. Take your time to savour every bite and finish each mouthful before taking the next. Let your food take a journey through your body, starting in your mouth. Feel the texture, taste the flavours and enjoy every bite.
  2. Listen to your brain, not your gadgets. Turn off your gadgets and TV and allow your brain to talk to you. Allow it time to catch up to your stomach and it will tell you when you are full. If you do this, you will not over eat.
  3. Eat for nourishment. By thinking about what and why we are eating, we are more likely to choose healthier options. Scoffing down a chocolate bar because you’re angry at a colleague or spouse, is only hurting your health. Mindful eating will make you stop and think about healthier ways to resolve your emotions rather than chomping down on a sugar laden snack.

Try mindful eating as a way to appreciate yourself. Your mind and body, your health and happiness. It doesn’t need to be another commitment we need to make which sets us up for failure. Simply stop and think and enjoy your food as it’s meant to be enjoyed.

Written by Lisa Stegena, Nutritionist

Nutrition Force is a Western Australian based company of Nutritionists and Accredited Practising Dietitians that offer weight loss programsprivate dietetic consultationschildren’s nutrition & dietetics,  school nutrition and  Corporate Wellness programs.  If you would like more information on our Perth Dietitians and the other services we offer call us today on (08) 9385 7755.

No hard sell and no cookie cutter solutions

We have clients travelling for over three hours to come and see us for a range of dietary and health related conditions.  We also receive referrals from over 150 GP’s and specialists throughout WA for those on health care plans and with more complicated health conditions.

Gastric conditions and diseases are our specialty and we consult with many clients who have suffered for years or decades and sometime their whole life with debilitating symptoms.  Migraines, persistent cough, skin conditions, nerve and pain sensitivity and many other symptoms can be related to diet and food chemicals.  Many of our clients experience relief from symptoms within two weeks following our advice.

However, we see a range of clients ranging in age from toddlers to people in their 90’s for all dietary related health conditions including bariatric surgery, children’s dietary issues, weight loss, diabetes and so much more.

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