By Stephanie Pysher, M.S., R.D., RYT-200
Are you part of the "clean plate club"? At the end of a stressful day are you reaching for a pint of your favorite ice cream? Do you finish eating a meal within ten minutes or less? These types of eating behaviors while common are NOT considered mindful!
Mindful eating is taking the time to touch, smell, taste, and truly enjoy the food you are eating with all of your senses. Practicing mindful eating can help you to tune into your body and know when you are hungry and when you are full. Consider trying the following mindful eating tips:
1. Turn off distractions (T.V., computer, phone, etc.) while eating.
2. Allow 30 minutes to eat and enjoy every meal. A good way to keep track is to set a timer while you eat and practice slowing down.
3. Put your fork down between each bite.
4. Make half of your plate vegetables. These are a healthy addition to any meal and take longer to chew and eat.
5. Drink a glass of water before each meal.
Practicing yoga regularly can also help with mindfulness. Yoga gives you tools to better tune into your body in the following ways:
1. While practicing yoga poses you are focused on alignment (and NOT falling over!).
2. Yoga helps you to learn how to breathe deeply through breathing exercises as well as using your breath to go more deeply into poses.
For example, first try a Tree pose without focusing on your alignment. Then try the pose again while focusing on what each part of your body is actually doing. Finally, breathe while you are in the final pose. Hopefully you noticed a difference with each added step and felt more grounded and at ease in your final pose.
Finally, be patient with yourself as you work to incorporate yoga and mindful eating practices into your daily routine. Remember that you can restart your day (or week) at anytime so if at first you don't succeed, then try try again!