We’re surrounded by tempting food choices, distractions from smartphones, computers and the television. Some might have more time than usual and may reach for the cupboard simply out of boredom. There’s no wonder we are becoming a nation of mindless eaters who chow down in a flash.
In our recent survey, a whopping 77% of people said they didn’t pay full attention to what they eat. What’s more remarkable is that in the same survey 70% of people admitted that when they do focus on what they eat, they enjoy it more!
Steps to become a Mindful Eater and gain back control
Step 1) Eat slowly without distractions
(did you know it takes the brain up to 20 minutes to register that your stomach is full)
Step 2) Engage your senses by thinking about each mouthful.
(Really consider taste, colour, smell and texture of the food and remember to chew slowly)
Step 3) Listen to physical hunger cues
(you might just be thirsty so remember to drink plenty of water, at least 2 litres a day)
Step 4) When a feeling of fullness starts, stop eating.
(It’s ok to leave food on your plate)
Step 5) Distinguish between actual hunger as opposed to non-hunger triggers
(86% of people say that they eat out of boredom)
Step 6) Identify the effects food has on your feelings.
(If you are feeling low do you crave sugary food?)
LighterLife’s CBT groups and weekly Xpress meetings explore ideas that help you understand what triggers overeating, with guidance from trained weight-management mentors and counsellors.
Mindfulness is a powerful tool to regain control of your eating habits and behaviours. It doesn’t just have to be a temporary change in your life, instead make it a brand-new lifestyle choice to maintain your dream weight!