Week 5 (Life): Mindful Eating. Do not be Mindless when you Eat.

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Mindful Eating Be Mindful when you eat.

After coming home from a long, stressful day at work or school, sometimes all you want to do is sit in front of the television or computer and enjoy your favorite snack. Before you know it, the television program is over and the bag you are holding is almost empty. You sit there, thinking , “How did I eat that entire thing? I wasn’t even very hungry.”

This week our Be BETTER goal is to pay attention to what we are eating, whether it’s a full meal or just a snack. After a day of going, going, going, it is easy to pick up a box of cookies and eat our way through it without thinking. When we stop to think about what we are doing we tend to eat less because we are aware of the food we are putting into our mouths.  Mindful eating allows us to enjoy the food we are putting into our mouths, but tasting the food, connecting and appreciating its value.

Some tips from the Harvard Health Publications titled Mindful Eating:

Experts suggest starting gradually with mindful eating, eating one meal a day or week in a slower, more attentive manner. Here are some tips (and tricks) that may help you get started:

  • Set your kitchen timer to 20 minutes, and take that time to eat a normal-sized meal.
  • Try eating with your non-dominant hand; if you're a righty, hold your fork in your left hand when lifting food to your mouth.
  • Use chopsticks if you don't normally use them.
  • Eat silently for five minutes, thinking about what it took to produce that meal, from the sun's rays to the farmer to the grocer to the cook.
  • Take small bites and chew well.
  • Before opening the fridge or cabinet, take a breath and ask yourself, "Am I really hungry?" Do something else, like reading or going on a short walk.

This week notice the smells, colors, tastes and texture of your food. See if you can turn “mindless eating” into “mindful” eating, creating BETTER habits for a BETTER body.