Spending time to enjoy every bite of our meal can often be a challenge for us. Sometimes we are guilty of scrolling down our Facebook Feed or speeding through meals to get to our next destination.
Eating too quickly can be a problem because our brain takes about 20 minutes to signal feelings of satiety (fullness). By eating quickly, it can leave us unsatisfied and result in eating more food than we need. Mindful Eating is about becoming more aware of what you’re eating and how it nourishes your body. Additionally, you learn to understand your body’s signals of fullness or hunger. (Today’s Dietitian).
Below is a Mindful Eating Cycle with questions we can ask ourselves to help us understand our eating behaviours.
|Questions to Consider|
|Why? Why do I eat?||Am I eating to build energy and strength in my body to help me through day-to-day activities?|
|When? When I want to eat?||Am I eating just because it is noon? Am I eating because I am bored? Is it a craving, hunger or a sign of thirst?|
|What? What do I eat?||Am I choosing a balance of foods that nourish our body and make us feel good? Am I making sustainable food choices?|
|How? How do I eat?||Am I eating our meals on the go? With friends?|
|How much? How much do I eat?||Am I eating more portions because I’m still hungry? Am I checking in with our satiety (fullness) cues halfway through my meals?|
|Where? Where do I invest my energy?||Am I eating in a space that is comfortable, has minimal distractions and allows me to enjoy my food?|
Choosing one or two of the questions above can be the first step to eating mindfully. These questions can give us more information about our eating patterns and help us make healthier food choices.
As a nutrition/dietetic student, I must admit that mindful eating can be challenging. I am used to eating my meals quickly, which may be why I am always eager for seconds. It’s not until my last couple of bites where I start questioning myself if I was actually eating mindfully. There have been many times where I felt guilty because of this. However, I realize that mindful eating doesn’t happen overnight. We need to be patient with ourselves and trust our body’s signals.
Everyone’s journey to mindful eating is unique and set at a pace that we feel most comfortable with.
March is Nutrition Month and this year’s slogan about improving our relationship with food: ‘Take the Fight out of Food. Spot the Problem. Get the Facts. Seek Support”. How will you take the fight out of food and practice more mindful eating?
To take the pledge and read more about this year’s campaign, visit here.
Post written by: Mei Ho.