When we think of healthy eating we often think about WHAT we are eating and sometimes WHAT NOT to eat. But healthy eating is also about HOW we eat. Being mindful and present with our food and eating. Being aware of when we are hungry and when we are full.
Do you eat mindfully? Ask yourself these questions.
Do you eat when you are hungry? Ask yourself HALTS: Am I Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired or Stressed? Try to be mindful and only eat when you are truly hungry. Food only fixes hunger. Try not to use food as an emotional tool. Have healthy food on hand for when hunger strikes. A delicious snack idea is this No Bake California Prune Power Ball. California Prunes add sweetness and keep the moisture in this recipe. They are also a source of fibre which is good for digestive health and they help keep you full. (Recipe: - https://www.californiaprunes.ca/recipe/no-bake-california-prune-power-balls/ )
Do you stop when you are satisfied or stuffed? Remember, this is not the last meal of your life you will eat again in 3 hours. It’s ok not to clear your plate. Consider serving yourself less in the first place. You will not save any starving children by stuffing yourself. Think of hunger and fullness on a scale of 1-10. Plan to eat when you are hungry but not starved (3) and stop when you are satisfied not stuffed (8).
Do you eat fast or slow? Try pausing between mouthfuls, put down cutlery, take a sip of water, have conversation, chew. Try to relax at mealtime and enjoy eating.
Do you eat at the table? Or do you eat at your desk, in front of the computer or TV or while driving? Take time to sit, enjoy your food and eat with others. Distracted eating can lead to mindless eating and overeating. Take a break. You deserve it.
Do you eat from the box or from a plate? Serve yourself food on a plate and if you typically feel you eat too much, serve yourself less in the first place. Don’t take the box of cookies to eat in front of the TV, serve yourself 2 and put the box away. Same goes for ice cream. Serve your self a bowl and put the carton back in the freezer before you sit down to eat.
The benefits of being mindful are that you make healthier choices, reconnect with your eating experience and create an environment that supports making healthy food choices.
- Diana Steele, Registered Dietitian