Do you count calories or portion out your meals? Or do you find yourself just dishing up whatever portion you feel like and overeating? If you find yourself mindlessly eating, you may begin to consume too many kilojoules and could start to gain weight. Practising mindful eating can help you maintain your weight-loss goals.
You can start your mindful eating journey by paying attention to the portion sizes you consume. Are you following the recommended portion size or just eyeballing it? When you serve yourself, you are likely to eat all the food on your plate. Consider serving your meals on smaller plates. This will make servings look larger.
Relying on visual cues can help you eat mindfully. Research has shown that visual cues are more effective than relying on internal cues. Seeing how much you have eaten—such as placing chicken bones to the side of your plate rather than throwing them away as you eat—can be a great way to help you eat less.
Create a Calm Environment
When you go to eat dinner, are you sitting at the table or in front of the television? Minimise distractions and place yourself in a calm, quiet environment to enjoy your meal. It’s also important to clear your head of clutter so you can focus on the meal.
Pay Attention to your Senses
Mindful eating is all about using all five senses to truly experience and relish in the meal. That means seeing what the food looks like, smelling it, noticing how it feels on your tongue, noting the flavors of the food, and paying attention to the sound made when you chew the food. You may even name the flavors of the food or pay special attention to the texture as a way of really appreciating what you’re eating.
Chew your food slowly and carefully. Rushing through the meal will not give your brain the time it needs to tell your stomach that you are full. You are more likely to feel fuller, faster if you chew slowly. This prevents overeating and it can also aid in digestion. Remember: you don’t have to eat everything on your plate.
Set Your Utensil Down
Setting your fork or spoon down between bites will help you eat slowly. Your fork is not a shovel. Set it down to help yourself stay conscious of how much you are consuming.
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