You’re tired, hungry and it’s been a long day at work… What next? It’s time to Raid. The. Fridge. After a frantic rummage around, you find yourself scoffing down anything you can get your hands on (cheddar and peanut butter, anyone?) Before long you’re heaped on your favourite sofa feeling tired, bloated – and if you’re anything like me, still hungry. As you might have already guessed, this is the opposite of mindful eating.
Explore the Mindful Christmas Collection, short yoga and meditation classes designed to help you create some me-time amidst the craziness of the holiday season.
What does it mean to eat mindfully?
Essentially, mindful eating is about eating with intention and presence, savouring the tastes and flavours of food so we can appreciate the role it plays in nourishing us. In today’s busy world where we’re expected to juggle a multitude of responsibilities, it can be easy for mealtimes to become something of a bore, to rush through and ‘get over with’ rather than really take pleasure in.
But research has shown us time and again that our relationship to food is directly related to our health. In fact, studies have shown that harnessing greater awareness whilst preparing and eating our food doesn’t just help us better enjoy mealtimes, but that it can actually help boost digestion, prevent overeating and ultimately even support weight management goals.
Our favourite mindful eating tips
1. Listen to your body
Feeling hunger pangs? Take a moment to tune in and listen to your body. Are you actually hungry? Dehydration can often distort signals in the body making us believe we’re hungry when we’re actually just thirsty. If you find yourself craving snacks between meals try holding off and drinking a glass of water and letting it sit for 10 mins.
If you’re still hungry…
2. So many choices…
Give yourself a moment to check in and feel what it is your body needs. Take a look at your options and consider each of them asking yourself questions, such as: Where does this come from? What does it smell like? How much does it cost? Stepping back like this provides us with the space to really honour what it is our body actually wants/needs. Intuitive eating enables us to tap into the body and make the most fulfilling decision for us in the long run.
3. Put some love into it
No two ways about it: food tastes better when it’s made with LOVE! Take the time to really enjoy preparing your food… Think about who’s going to be enjoying it and all the wonderful ways it’s going to nourish you and your friends and/or family. Try some of our favourite nutrition-rich breakfast recipes.
4. How did this get here?
These days it’s possible to get pretty much whatever we want, when we want it, regardless of what season it is or where it comes from. Everything we buy has had a history before it. Start to note the origin of your food and appreciate the process it took to end up on your plate – the people that played a part in its production, the perfect blend of elements that enabled it to grow etc. Mindful eating is all about feeling a greater connection to our food. And if we feel better connected to our food, the more likely we are to make a decision that will nourish and support us, rather than simply ‘fill the gap’.
5. Savour the flavour
If we’ve worked up an appetite it can be tempting to wolf down our food as soon as it lands on our plate. But next time this happens, take a moment to sit back and smell the food, absorbing all the different aromas in front of you. And when you start eating, try to eat each mouthful a little slower than usual, really savouring each of the flavours. Not only will you be less inclined to overeat, but slow, conscious eating is much better for the digestive system, leaving you feeling satisfied and ‘full’ without the bloat.
Join our Mindful Christmas Collection, a countdown of short classes to help you to slow down, breath more and find peace and grounding amidst the craziness of this magical time of year.
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