05 Apr Mindful Eating – sometimes it’s not about food
Do you know of a person who is a healthy eater yet is unsatisfied and struggles with their weight? Being mindful refers to being present in “in the moment”. Multi-tasking is part of our daily lives. We commonly try to accomplish too much in hopes of getting everything we need done for the day and oftentimes that means we are not mindful when we eat, thus contributing to our country’s ever growing battle with the scale. Let’s spend some time on how we can become a mindful eater and the powerful effects it can have with our health and our waist line.
Your parents have either blessed or cursed you with their genetics. The good news is that only 1/3 of your health is attributed to genetics – the majority of your health is in your control and manageable through the choices you make regarding lifestyle, coping mechanisms, physical activity and food. You CAN control your destiny and health in ways that will benefit you long term. The time to begin is now!
Breakfast Alarm Clock
The morning routine can be quite a chore many days. The chaos is overwhelming and in the midst of all we are trying to do in such a short time we have a tendency to overlook breakfast. Many people skip breakfast because of time constraints or they simply are not hungry. However, skipping this most important meal can have a negative impact on the rest of your day negatively affecting grades, office production, and overall health. Eating breakfast is your body’s metabolic alarm clock. The minute you eat your metabolism wakes up and without any additional effort on your part you begin to burn more calories! This is why people will say, the minute I eat I am hungry for the rest of the day! Fabulous, this is exactly what you want to happen! Being hungry is good, making mindful, wholesome food choices such as grains, fruits and vegetables can only be beneficial for your human machine!
Timing – 2-3 hours/ 300 kcal
Your body is designed to eat every 2-3 hours rather than once or twice a day. Eating small frequent meals allows your body to expend more calories and resist the need to conserve in the form of fat storage. Each time you eat or graze, try to eat a variety of foods in combination such as a piece of toast with pumpkin butter and berries rather than toast and coffee. Try slices of apples with whole grain crackers and raisins instead of an apple by itself. Combining foods allows more nutrients (vitamins and minerals) to be absorbed, and the best part is consuming meals of approximately 300 kcal increments helps maintain that fast metabolism!
Being mindful when eating means taking your time to nourish your human machine! This is not a quick oil change with your car, so next time you eat pace yourself so that it takes you 20 minutes. This is the time it takes your hypothalamus (hunger control center in your brain) to signal to the stomach that is it full and okay to stop eating! By taking longer to eat your meals you will eat less kcalories and feel fuller with the foods you are eating.
You might wonder how can it possibly take 20 minutes to eat 300 kcal? And the mindful answer is that each bite should take approximately 10-20 chews. By chewing and slowing down your pace, you will come to appreciate and enjoy the new textures, flavors and nutrients that you are eating. Healthy food tastes good, if you take the time and savor the moment.
A colorful plate is a healthy plate. Eating a rainbow means filling 50 % of your plate with a variety of colorful veggies and fruit. Add in some whole grains, lentils, beans and plant protein and you have yourself a powerhouse meal to keep the busiest person on their toes with energy to spare!
When eating YOU have options. Either eat to satisfy your immediate hunger leaving room in your stomach for more food which you will tend to in 2-3 hours or manage your portion sizes by applying the 80/20 rule – leave 20% of the food on your plate and consume only 80% at your meal. This is a wonderful mindful strategy that can easily be used while dining out even at fast food restaurants.
Fasting is Our Enemy
Folks who have a tendency to eat one or two large meals per day have a tendency to be larger than those who eat frequently throughout the day. Eating only once or twice a day encourages our body to become very effective fat storing machines. Rather than eating one or two meals a day, take those calories and spread them over the course of the day for a re-energized and more nourished you.
When eating, being mindful can have a significant impact on your health. Give it a try – Bon Appetite!
At Plant Food and Gratitude , we offer individualized coaching sessions to assist you in managing your health concerns and making healthy changes to support you and the health of your family. We will support you as you transition to a more vibrant healthier you! Our coaches specialize in working with many areas of health including weight reduction, stress relief, thyroid disorders, heart disease, cancer support, and can help you find ways to make a transition to a more nutritious diet including more plant based eating.
If you’re interested in more about what we do, consider signing up for our newsletter to receive instant access to our wellness wheel assessment. You’ll also receive recipes and important health information delivered to your inbox and much much more!
Please let us know your thoughts! Comment below – we want to hear from you!
Do you want to learn more about how a Health Coach can help? Check out this great article on the benefits. If you’re interested in coaching to have some support around these lifestyle changes, we’d love to work with you. Receive a FREE Consultation and let us match you with one of our amazing health coaches we have standing by to work with you!