WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO EAT MINDFULLY ?
To keep your New Year’s resolutions, try these practical, sustainable steps.
As February begins, we’re celebrating love, care and commitment. So it’s fitting that this is also the month our New Year’s resolutions crystallize into habits — we’re working harder to be the best versions of ourselves and to keep the promises we made when the year began.
Inevitably among the top New Year’s resolutions are variations on “eat healthy,” “diet” and “lose weight.” Weight and diet easily come to the forefront for many of us hoping to make a fresh start in the new year.
We often use the term ‘diet’ casually in everyday conversations to refer to strict, sparing regimens of eating and drinking meant to reduce weight. But reframing this conversation — aspiring to ‘mindful eating’ rather than dieting — gives this goal new perspective and meaning. Mindful eating habits encourage us to set realistic, sustainable goals that include cultivating patterns of habitual nourishment and being active.
As we work toward achieving healthy, sustainable long-term habits, here are a few practical ways to practice mindful eating:
- Pay attention to what your body tells you when indicating the time to eat (e.g. stomach growling).
- Take the time to relish each bite of food you consume, by chewing, experiencing the different textures, tasting the flavors in each bite and awakening the sense of smell.
- Be aware of portion sizes. Listen to your body and mind, and stop eating when they say you’re full.
- Practice eating with others at a set time and location, ideally without phones or other distractions.
- Eat consistently without skipping meals — your body will appreciate timely nourishment.
- Choose naturally healthy foods that are minimally processed. Make water your beverage of choice, while limiting food options with added sugars, added salt, added fat and alcohol.
Mindful eating does require some detailed planning. Planning meals ahead of time is key to keeping in tune with our bodies to nourish ourselves. And in the process of eating mindfully, we feel rested and energetic. With consistency, these habits will become natural patterns that can be easily sustained. They’ll empower us to make healthier choices, bringing acceptance and balance to our lives. Best of all, we may never need to use the word ‘diet’ again!
“First seen on The Indian SCENE” https://theindianscene.com/2019/02/what-does-it-mean-to-eat-mindfully/