How To Be Mindful During Meals
Everywhere we go and whatever we do, mindfulness is a buzzword washing across many areas of our lives. Yet, practicing mindfulness can seem like an overwhelming — even impossible — undertaking. Luckily for all of us, mindfulness isn’t about perfection. In fact, the best ways to practice mindfulness are those which fit into your lifestyle. From how we process our emotions to how we eat our food, mindfulness is a valuable tool for slowing down and staying in touch with yourself. From here, we can make positive change.
Mealtimes are one area in which it is easy to forget mindfulness. For many, these are the only pauses in otherwise busy days. As such, meals become a space in which we tend to turn our brains off and mindlessly ingest the fuel we need to keep going. When this is the case it becomes easier to make unhealthy eating decisions without noticing. Because when we don’t slow down enough to consider what we’re eating and how it affects us — mentally and physically — how we treat our body becomes second priority. Alternatively, practicing mindfulness means taking a beat and making the most of our mealtime.
Begin by being present during all of your grocery trips. Pay close attention to what foods you gravitate towards and ask yourself why you do so. If you’re fixated on the chips & cookies isle, could it be because you’re shopping while already hungry? Or maybe after having a stressful day? Mindfulness can be as simple as remaining conscious of your decisions and why you’re making them through check-ins with yourself. So there’s no hard and fast rule about indulging in a cookie here and there as long as you’re remaining mindful of why you’re eating it how it affects your nutrition. We’re only human, after all. And mindfulness is meant to celebrate this, not regulate it.
Another important aspect of mindfulness during mealtimes is separating meals from the rest of your day. It’s easy to get caught up in work and end up eating lunch at your desk — hardly tasting your food at all. Habits like these can lead to unhealthy mealtime practices such as not checking in with yourself to see if you’re full and constantly multitasking while we eat.
Instead, make slight changes to your everyday routine in order to create a mindful time and space to eat and enjoy your food. Step away from your desk, computer, tv, etc. and move to a designated eating space. Appreciate the food on your plate. Take a moment to notice the colors, textures and smells. Notice something missing? Maybe consider adding a fruit or veggie to the mix. Most importantly, take a moment to assess how you’re feeling throughout your meals. Are you getting full? Do you feel more energized by what you’re eating? If not, what can you change?
These small tweaks to how we eat our meals can make a world of difference in the journey towards a healthier life, not to mention any weight loss journey. To learn more about how Orbera’s dedicated coaches help their clients practice mindfulness during mealtimes, contact an Orbera specialist today!