What is mindful eating?
‘Mindful eating’ is simply about tuning in to our natural hunger and fullness signals. It’s not a diet plan or program, but just a way of regularly approaching our food choices that can help us make healthier decisions. It works by increasing our awareness of what, why and how much we want to eat and so we can choose foods that satisfy our genuine needs and wants.
Mindful eating has its roots in ancient Buddhist practice, but fear not – it’s as simple as it sounds. Just think of it as the opposite of mindLESS eating.
Try some of our favourite tips below to add mindfulness to your menu:
1. Eat slowly and chew well
This helps us enjoy flavour, improves digestion, and since it takes 20 minutes for food to reach the stomach, eating slowly gives us time to recognise when we’re full.
2. Tune in
Before each meal, take a moment to consider how hungry you are and choose just enough food to satisfy that hunger. Aim to stop eating when you feel satisfied, but not too ‘full’ or stuffed, as this helps keep our portions in check.
3. Drop the distractions
Eating while watching TV or at your desk is definitely mindless eating, and we tend to overeat when we do that. Removing distractions will help us make more nutritious food choices, feel satisfied with what we’re eating and prevent overindulgences.
4. Reboot your routine
Sometimes we eat out of routine, not hunger. Next time you reach for a mid-morning snack, ask yourself if you’re really hungry or if you’re just eating because it’s that time of day. If you’re not hungry, maybe a walk or a stretch is all you need to enjoy a break.
5. Enjoy a variety of foods every day
Good nutrition is all about balance. Of course we encourage you to eat mostly from the five core food groups (fruits, vegetables, grain foods, dairy foods or non-dairy alternatives and protein foods like meat, fish, eggs, nuts and legumes) but enjoying a treat every now and again is perfectly fine too.
For more handy healthy eating tips and tasty recipes visit the Nutrition Australia website.