Hi, friends! My husband and I are currently overseas on a two-week long adventure in Ireland, Scotland and London. Follow our adventures over on Instagram! While we’re away, I’ve invited a few of my blogger friends to share recipes and intuitive eating posts! Today’s post is by my friend Jenna Gorham, RD, LN.
While it is okay to eat a comfort food when you’re sad or granola bar when you’re running out the door, we can often find ourselves mindlessly snacking or eating without much thought. Whether we’re eating for emotional reasons or are simply distracted, mindless eating can get in the way of reaching our health goals. Below are some tips to help you become more aware of your eating habits and become a more mindful eater.
How often do you find yourself mindlessly munching standing in the kitchen? When we eat standing up, we’re often doing or thinking about other things aside from what and how much we’re eating. Bring your meal or snack to the table and sit down to help shift your focus to the food.
We’re constantly in a rush and mindlessly eating on the go. Slowing down can help us to be mindful in all areas of our life, not just eating. Start by choosing just one meal each day to focus on slowing down. Try to make the meal last for a full 20 minutes. Pause between each bite you take, chew thoroughly and see if you can chew each bite 20 times. Try using your opposite hand or chopsticks or putting your utensil down between bites to slow the meal even more.
Put away your phone and computer and move away from the TV! Try eating your meal in silence and really focus on the food and your hunger.
Before taking your first bite, pause for just 2 seconds. Take a look at the food in front of you – what do you see or smell? What are you about to eat? Why are you eating? How hungry are you?
Check in With Your Hunger
On a scale of 1-10, how hungry are you (1 being not hungry at all, 10 being starving)? Why are you eating? Check back in again about halfway through your meal, now where do you fall on the hunger scale?
Take a Break
Instead of mindlessly scarfing down the plate in front of you, when you’re about halfway through your meal take a quick break. Pause for a minute to tell a story or listen to someone else’s story, get up to stretch your legs or refill your water glass.
Use Your Senses
Use your senses to examine the food in front of you. What do you see, smell, taste, hear, or feel? Try taking your first bite with your eyes closed – can you pick out each ingredient?
Jenna Gorham, RD, LN is a registered dietitian and nutrition communications expert based in Bozeman, MT. She specializes in nutrition for 20-somethings, helping her clients get back on track with healthy eating, adopt healthy habits to last a lifetime and prevent decades of yo-yo dieting, and to feel their absolute best. Jenna provides virtual nutrition coaching and consulting services for clients across the country. Learn more about Jenna and what she offers on her website or follow her on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.