How do you know when you’ve had enough to eat?  Do your clothes get tighter?  Do you feel stuffed?  Or do you feel like you could eat a bit more but are satisfied so you stop?  If you answered yes to questions 1 or 2 then you could benefit from eating with greater awareness.  This is called mindful eating.

How many of us eat our meals in one of the following ways: while driving, talking on the phone, on the computer or watching TV and the next thing we know the food is all gone? In most cases we don’t even remember how the food tasted.  Since we barely remember eating, we have a little more to eat.  Now we are stuffed and uncomfortable.

Next time, practice mindful eating.  According to several studies, while mindful eating may not result in weight loss, it does help us gain more awareness about our eating patterns. Try one of these mindful eating tips the next time you eat a meal or snack:

  1. Rate your level of hunger on a scale from 0 to 10 (0 being the most hungry and 10 being the least hungry) before eating a meal or snack.
  2. Eat your meal or snack at the table in a quiet setting. Think about all it took to make the meal you’re eating.
  3. Put your fork/spoon down in between bites of food, chew slowly and pay attention to the taste and texture of the food.
  4. Wait 20 minutes when considering seconds. This allows the brain time to signal that you’re full.

Put these tips into practice to gain better awareness.  This will help you develop a better sense of when you are full and prevent overeating.  Don’t forget to ask yourself, “Am I Full Yet?”

Reference: Harris, C MPH, RD. (2013). Mindful Eating – Studies Show This Concept Can Help Clients Lose Weight and Better Manage Chronic Disease, Todays Dietitian, Vol. 15 No.3 P.42.

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