It is thought that people will make approximately 200 decisions each day about what to eat or drink. But to eat only when we are hungry, and just until we are satisfied, and truly enjoy our food, means to be mindful of what we are eating. It involves eating with intention and attention.
Try one or more of these Tactics:
- Clean that Cluttered Kitchen – We likely overeat by as much as 34% when our kitchens are messy. Having a neat eating area helps you feel like the world is less “out of control” and reduces the chances of eating due to anxiety.
- . Ask yourself: “Do I really want this?” – This will help us gauge our hunger level and assess why we’re eating. Perhaps we are bored, or tired, or thirsty? It’s just like the gas tank in your car. When your gas light comes on you pull into a gas station and fill up. When you start to feel hungry, that is when you should start preparing your meal.
- Sit Down and Power Down – Simply put your butt on the chair, and then eat. Be more mindful of what you are eating and how much. Slow down and wait for the brain to tell your stomach you are full (which can take about 20 minutes). Power off the TV, your cell phone and just concentrate on what you are doing. Savor every flavour, and enjoy each bite. Distracted eating often means overeating.
- Create a food speed bump – Half way through the meal. take a moment and assess whether you need to keep eating or not. Divide you plate in half, so that even if you are in deep conversation you will be reminded to check in with your stomach.
- Chew like a Cow – Really! Well maybe not at a business lunch, but take time to chew your food. The enzymes in your mouth will break down the food better, and then your stomach doesn’t have to work so hard to digest the nutritious particles. This crunch effect of the sound of food being chewed is a key sensory cue that helps us regulate how much we eat.