Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Mindful eating

We live life at such a frantic pace we have little time to think about the food we eat or how we consume it. Eating should be pleasurable as it satiates our hunger, but when we’re doing other things, such as watching TV or working, we fail to recognise our bodies are full and continue to eat regardless. As a result, we don’t enjoy the food we have and need more food to feel satisfied.

Mindful eating can teach us to savour our food, recognise our eating habits/impulses and seize control of them. It allows us to listen to our bodies and rediscover the joy of eating.

Here are some mindful eating strategies to help us achieve the above:

  • Only eat when you’re hungry but don’t wait until you’re starving. 
  • Eat without distractions – in silence for at least half of the meal is preferable. 
  • Focus on your food in minute detail – this can be enhanced by putting your cutlery down between mouthfuls. 
  • Contemplate your food before eating – appreciate the aroma and appearance of your food. 
  • Savour the taste of your food – take small bites and chew thoroughly before swallowing. 
  • Stop eating when you feel satisfied. 
  • When you finish eating, pay attention to how you feel. 
  • When preparing food, focus on the ingredients. 
  • When cooking, fully concentrate on what you’re doing and think about how the food will nourish your body. 
  •  Have a healthy snack on hand, when you’re likely to act on impulse, rather than automatically reaching for the biscuit tin. 

We often make quick decisions when we’re tired, hurried or stressed but if we give more thought to what food we buy, how we cook it and our portion sizes then we can make better choices about food to satisfy our bodies and minds.

First Psychology Scotland has centres in the following locations: Edinburgh: 0131-668-1440, www.edinburghtherapy.co.uk
Glasgow: 0141-404-5411, www.glasgowpsychology.co.uk
Borders: 01896-800-400, www.borderspsychology.co.uk
Aberdeen: 01224-452-848, www.aberdeenpsychology.co.uk

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