Pasta Dinner

3 Ways to Practice Mindful Eating

By: Molly Hembree, MS, RD, LD

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of daily life. But don’t let a packed schedule distract you from making conscious food choices. Check out these tips to develop a healthier mindset about eating – and master healthier eating techniques.

1. Pace Yourself with the Slowest Eater

Ever assess how long it takes you to finish a snack or meal? Or how many times you chew a bite before swallowing? It’s about time we start analyzing these details because many of us are shoveling rather than munching. Slowing your pace results in a two-fold pay-off. First, eating slowly signals our gut and brain that we are getting full. Second, it helps us establish intention with our meals, allowing us to more fully enjoy every bite.

Whether you’re sharing a snack, sampling appetizers at a party or enjoying a meal at a restaurant, try slowing down by aligning your speed with the person taking the longest to eat (even if it takes a really long time!).

2. Enjoy Your Faves

Yes! A dietitian is recommending that you eat what you want! However, it comes with a caveat: eat a single serving only. It can be tempting to overindulge in treats – especially at gatherings or on special occasions. To stay mindful and stick with healthy eating goals, make a concerted effort to have just “one” of a starchy, sweet or rich treat. This way, you still can enjoy indulgent experience, but minus the guilt and health consequences.

3. Give Away or Compost Leftovers

It’s nice to enjoy a big, homemade meal; but, don’t let yourself feel pressure to finish it all or leave it beckoning to you from the fridge for days. If you have extras, consider sharing them with someone – or responsibly toss them. Give extra helpings to a friend, neighbor or co-worker, and if you have no takers, try composting.

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