We’re all familiar with stopping to smell the roses, but when was the last time you put it into practice? Mindfulness is the act of slowing down, being attentive and aware to the here and now. Applying the habit of mindfulness when eating is a positive skill that we at Jenny Craig encourage all the time because it enables you to savor your meal and eat the right amount of food.
We understand that a full schedule can derail healthy eating habits, especially when the norm is to eat quickly and move onto the next thing in your day. However, giving yourself the gift of mindful eating will renew your pleasure in eating and reframe your relationship with food as you learn how to tune into your body’s nutritional needs.
Mindful eating doesn’ t have to be an all or nothing act. Just making small steps will help encourage positive habits. Here are six tips to help with mindful eating:
1. Start with a peaceful environment
Eliminating distraction is key to mindful eating. If you are at home, turn off the TV and instead listen to music. If you are at work, leave your desk and find a quieter place to eat. Dine away from your computer to focus on your food.
2. Take the time to plate your Jenny Craig meal
Thoughtfully arrange it next to a serving of vibrantly colored vegetables and enjoy how appealing it all looks together.
Close your eyes for a moment and take a deep breath before you take your first bite noticing the aroma of your food.
4. Acknowledge the flavors
Take a bite and chew slowly to savor the flavors and textures.
5. Slow your rate…know your state
Pause in between bites, to check in with your physical hunger cues. Experiment with putting your fork down between bites, or taking a sip of water. This allows you the time to recognize the subtle transition from “ready to eat” to “ate just enough.”
6. Stop when you’re feeling satisfied
When you have reached a satiated point, put your fork down, fold your napkin on your plate - acknowledging you are nourished and fully satisfied - and mindfully move on with your day.
Mindfulness is a powerful tool that can not only help you reach your weight loss goals, but also appreciate the little things in life! Go ahead, and slow it down and add some mindfulness into your life.