EATING WELL: Mindfulness is the practice of bringing one's attention to the present. It can be used to help improve eating patterns.
EATING WELL: Mindfulness is the practice of bringing one's attention to the present. It can be used to help improve eating patterns. Contributed

How slowing down can help you improve eating habits

TRY an activity for me: quiet your mind for 60 seconds.

Just close your eyes and try not to think about anything ... well, how did you go?

If you're like most people you would have found it difficult to switch off, and the harder you tried to not think about things, the more you focused on them.

Mindfulness is the practice of bringing one's attention to the present.

It's an extremely powerful, but often underutilised tool to support both our physical and emotional wellbeing.

In today's society it's easy to see the benefits of taking time out to refocus your thoughts. However, did you know we can also use mindfulness to help improve our eating patterns?

Distractions such as work, television or scrolling through social media, coupled with super-sized portions can be problematic as we tend to eat more than what our body needs.

By giving our full attention to the experience of eating and drinking, we can increase our awareness of the internal feelings of hunger and satiety (fullness) and enjoy our food more.

Steps to mindful eating:

1.

Present your meal in an appealing fashion.

2.

Use smaller plates/bowls to reduce portion size.

3.

Switch off electronics including the television, computers, and mobile phones while you eat.

4.

Eat away from your desk.

5.

Check in with your internal hunger levels - do you really need seconds?

6.

Use all five senses to enjoy your meal.

7.

Notice changes in the way food tastes as you chew, and chew your food well.

8.

Slow down. It takes about 20 minutes for your body to recognise the feeling of fullness.

9.

Put your cutlery down between mouthfuls.

10.

Eat until you are about 80per cent full (where you are feeling comfortably full and not stuffed).

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