We are only two weeks into the New Year and I am noticing all of the diet propaganda emerging. From detox to weight loss diets – they are all there! A mindful approach to eating puts you in control of your choices, and frees you from the temptation of new diets.
What, why and how are you eating?
The fact that you are considering ‘diets’ means you are not 100% happy with your food choices and your health and wellbeing. Perhaps you are carrying extra weight or your energy levels are low. To find the best solution you need an assessment of your current situation.
I suggest keeping a food diary for one week and record the following:
- Time of drink, meal, snack.
- What and how much you ate (e.g. 1 cup boiled white rice, 200g BBQ steak).
- Whether you ate due to hunger, boredom or upset.
- Use a scale of 1 to 5 to record your level of hunger, with 1 = very hungry, 3 being satisfied and 5+ = so full you have to lie down as you experience discomfort.
- Were you still hungry, satisfied, full or overfull when you finished eating?
- Did you eat at a cafe, at home at a table or on the couch whilst watching TV?
Your completed food diary will provide valuable information on your eating habits, including your triggers for eating.
Do you taste your foods and drinks?
Mindful eating is about taking notice of the aroma, texture and flavour of food. Allocate some personal time to really experience eating, such as eating your favourite summer fruit:
- Observe the appearance of the fruit (its colour and texture)
- What does the first bite taste like?
- What does the texture feel like (is it crisp or juicy)?
- How does the aroma affect you?
- For the time you are eating the fruit, only concentrate on the task of mindful eating. If your mind wanders to other thoughts, come back to your fruit!
- How do you feel after you have eaten the fruit?
Do you plan your meals?
Planning your meals for the week encourages you to review your commitments for the week and guides your food shopping. It saves time, as you will shop once for the entire week. You will also save money, as you wont buy food that may end up in the garbage bin.
Take up the challenge
I encourage you to take up the challenge of the food diary. It is your own personal research project for the week. The purpose of the food diary is to learn more about your habits, so you can introduce real and personalised solutions to improve the way you eat. Also choose one of your favourite foods and mindfully experience eating. Next week I will discuss common findings of YOUR FOOD DIARY.
I would love to receive your comments and questions as you experience a more mindful approach to eating.