You may have read the title of this blog and thought to yourself, "I am NOT eating standing on my head!" Well not to worry, I won't be asking you to do that. I am talking about mindfulness. If you have taken a yoga class, then you've probably been told to stop and just be aware of your body. See how it feels, at that moment. Take note of any tightness or soreness from previous workouts. This is usually done at the beginning to set you up for your practice for the day.
Even if you do not plan on ever taking a yoga class, which I recommend everyone try it at least three different times, you can still use the practice of mindfulness to improve your diet. It's called mindful eating. Some of us may already do this and not even realize it. Most of us, however, could use a little help getting there.
How do you practice mindful eating?
It's actually pretty simple. (Simple things just sometimes end up being the hardest to do.) Before you begin eating, take note of how you are feeling. Both physical and emotional feelings should be taken into account. Did you wait to long to eat since your last meal so you are ravenous, tired, and cranky? Are you not even hungry, just really angry at your boss? Maybe you've been sitting at home all day, no one's called and you're bored and a little lonely?
Once you have started eating, eat slowly so you can notice everything that you are enjoying about your meal. Setting your fork down in between bites helps with the speed factor and slowing down lets you actually feel when you are satisfied. Remember, you don't have to eat until FULL.
Why practice mindful eating?
All three of those situations above are very common ones to be in on any given day. Now if we were turning to baked chicken and sauteed kale in those situations, wouldn't be a big deal. Most likely though we are turning to comfort foods that are not healthy options. If we could just slow down for about 60 seconds before we start eating at these times, we could take control over the caloric avalanche that is about to happen. When you waited too long to eat and feel like eating everything in site, realizing this can keep you aware while you're eating so you just eat your healthy portion and then go find something to keep you occupied until the food kicks in. Mad at the boss but not hungry situations can be helped by doing something active like going for a run or mowing the yard. Bored and lonely eating can be helped by being productive. Maybe you start early on the list of things to do for the weekend, or get some serious cleaning done.
In short, a healthy diet is all about knowledge. Not only about what you're eating, but about yourself as well. Learn your body, learn your triggers, and have even greater success in your healthy lifestyle.