Do you ever catch yourself standing in front of your pantry, snacking on chips, while simultaneously trying to send off three emails? I’ve been there – sometimes it can be difficult to slow down enough to properly nourish our bodies. The good news? Mindfulness is a skill that can be honed and leveraged to experience greater satisfaction with food. Try these 7 mindful eating tips today to prevent overeating today!
What is Mindful Eating?
According to the Center for Mindful Eating, mindful eating brings attention to one’s food choice and eating experience. It’s all about paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment.
Mindful eating is associated with:
- Less binge eating
- Less emotional eating
- Greater satisfaction with food
- Enhanced mind-body connection
These benefits are what you want, right!? ALL OF THIS from the simple change of being more mindful at meals.
If you’re unaware of how much you eat in one sitting, barely taste your food, or see sitting down to eat as a waste of time…then keep reading because these small tweaks could transform your relationship with food.
7 Mindful Eating Tips to Prevent Overeating
1 – Honor your hunger.
Use the hunger fullness scale to rate hunger. When you begin eating within the comfortable hunger range (3-4), you’re more likely to end eating within the comfortable fullness range.
2 – Plate your food.
It’s easier to feel out of control around food when you’re standing in front of your pantry eating directly out of the container. Try plating your food instead. Sit down and enjoy a portion of your food, reminding yourself that you can always go back for more if you’re still hungry.
3 – Limit distractions.
Make a point of limiting distractions in your eating environment. Turn your phone face down on the table, or place it in a different room entirely. This allows you to be more present.
4 – Check in with your emotions.
If you call yourself an emotional eater, take note of how you feel. Are you anxious, bored, worried, or stressed? How might this be impacting your eating experience?
5 – Engage all 5 senses.
Imagine you were a food critic and had to describe the meal in depth for an upcoming article. What would you say about the food’s texture, color, and taste profile? Use your senses to bring these details to life.
6 – Feel your fullness.
Use the hunger and fullness scale to rate fullness. Notice subtle fullness cues such as diminishing taste, a settled stomach, feeling content, etc. Aim to stop eating within the comfortable fullness range (6-7).
7 – What to do when you feel full, but keep eating anyway.
Ask yourself: will this food taste better and make me feel better if I save it for when I’m actually hungry? Most of the time…the answer is yes. Give yourself permission to save food for later.
What strategies stand out to you? How can you put them into practice this week?
I hope you find this information to be useful! Remember, there are several nuances of intuitive eating. For individualized support in healing your relationship with food and body, check out my coaching services!