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Mindful Eating

Once again, it’s the start of a new year. Over the holidays, you may have overindulged and now find yourself a few pounds heavier than you’d like. Or you may be tired of unhealthy habits that weigh you down. Whatever your goals are for 2020, mindful eating is an excellent way to optimize your health and wellness.

What is mindful eating? First of all, mindful eating is not a diet. It’s simply a tool to help you gain control of your eating habits. It’s an awareness of your food as you purchase, prepare, serve, and consume it. Adopting this practice will help you make thoughtful choices regarding what you eat.

Here are some tips for mindful eating adopted from an article by Harvard Medical School:

  1. Start with your grocery list: When preparing your grocery list, assess the nutritional value of every item. When shopping, stick to your list! Do not impulse-buy unhealthy snacks, soda, etc.
  2. Start with a small portion: Add a small portion to your plate first because you might not be as hungry as you think. You can add more later but start small.
  3. Be grateful for your food: Before digging in, take a moment to pause and appreciate the meal before you. We live in a society that takes healthy food for granted; every meal is a gift.
  4. Employ all of your senses: Throughout every step of the preparation process and during the meal, notice the smells, color, and textures.
  5. Take small bites: When your mouth is completely full, it’s more difficult to enjoy the flavors of what you’re eating.
  6. Chew thoroughly: Be sure to completely chew your food. It should take 20-40 seconds to chew each bite.
  7. Eat slowly: Take your time during the meal. Enjoy the present moment.