Melanie Greenberg, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Mill Valley, CA who specializes in mindfulness and eating disorders claims mindfulness is “the practice of being separating direct experience, thoughts and feelings from judgments about them as well as deliberately noticing every sensory experiences”.
When it comes to eating, Mindfulness helps bring back your own intuitive wisdom. Moreover, it helps you to enjoy the sensation of your food.
Below are nine simple but useful tips for using mindfulness to help shed extra pounds.
Ask yourself “why?”
In Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat, Michelle May, MD indicates you should know why you eat as it is the first step to eating more mindfully in order to realize you’re eating for a reason other than true hunger.
Create a nourishing space
For a calm and positive meal, Greenberg recommends setting the table with flowers. To focus on your food, avoid distracting sounds or visuals and anything that makes you physically uncomfortable.
In one study, 10 percent more calories at mealtime can be caused by eating while watching TV, and a largely 25 percent more calories later in the day. Research also suggests you can be more aware of how much you’re eating by ditching the laptops and smartphones in favor of a more focused meal.
Eating in silence can make it easier to focus on the physical sensations of your food, says Greenberg. Consider setting aside a certain period of time for eating quietly with your family if eating silently isn’t an option. Don’t let the conversation distract your food or vice versa; take your time and enjoy both.
5. Notice everything
Take a look at your food as if you’re seeing it for the first time. This is a common practice in mindfulness studies. As you take a bite, “slow down and actually taste it,” says Greenberg. Try to apply it on your own meals, even on your every day breakfast.
6. Put down your fork
Take a bite, taste the food, and swallow — all before picking up your fork for another bite. Researchers have found that forcing yourself to eat slowly can help you cut down on calories, since you notice that you’re full sooner.
7. Make eating harder
Cut your food into much smaller bites. Eat with your non-dominant hand, or eat with chopsticks if you don’t usually, few tricks to force yourself to eat more slowly according to The Harvard Health Letters.
8. Be grateful
It’s hard not to feel a sense of awe or gratitude for the farm or animal it came from, or machines that may have been involved in it arriving on your plate. Having this kind of thankfulness can help you rule out any negative judgments about the food you’re eating as well as satisfying you.
9. Accept your feeling
What matters in mindfulness is noticing and accepting your emotions. You will realize that emotions don’t have to rule you if you allow them to come over you without fighting.