Being “mindful” is a popular term these days. It means being present in the moment and giving your full attention to what you are doing right now. Mindful eating is a concept that comes from Buddhist teachings and aims for the slowing down and enjoying of your food without eating too much. The practice says that there is not necessarily a right or wrong way to eat, but we need to be fully conscious about what we are eating and why. The goal with mindful eating is to eat when our bodies signal that they are hungry, and not on emotional cues.
Physical cues from your sleeve or pouch that tell you if you are hungry include becoming grouchy, getting a headache, or when your sleeve or pouch gives you that familiar rumble or empty feeling. Paying attention to these cues instead of “head hunger” (emotional eating cues) will help you practice mindful eating.
Practicing mindful eating doesn’t mean you have to go about it like the monks in monasteries who eat in complete silence, but does have to be something you can fit into your lifestyle. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Sit down and eat at a table.
- Take time to eat. Proteins first then veggies or side dish. Chew chew chew!
- Enjoy your meal times and avoid distractions such as the television or the computer.
- Enjoy mealtime with your family or by yourself. Try new recipes and new spices. Have fun!