Welcome to Week 2 of the 4 week Health Improvement Challenge! Today we will be talking about:
Have you heard of mindful eating? It’s the art of eating consciously, or mindfully. When we ask clients what they’ve eaten today, it’s astounding to see how many people have no idea. In our pressured, time-focused culture many people shove food into their mouth when it’s in front of them, forfeiting all of the pleasures of eating. This results in an emotional, as well as physical hunger.
Learning how to eat mindfully is a wonderful skill which will revolutionise the way that you experience food. You can focus on the nutrition it provides your body (how blessed we are to have such a nourishing food supply when there are so many people going without), how it affects your senses (oh, it smells amazing!) or how it was made and all of the people you have to be thankful for producing this food that you now have sitting at your table, but to start with we’re going to teach you to analyse your meal like a food reviewer.
Grab a piece of food, and let’s get started….
Pretend that you’re writing an article on this meal or snack for a blog or magazine.
Firstly, look at it. How would you describe it? Is your meal well presented? Is it visually appealing? Colourful?
What’s the ambiance like? Does the room feel cold and dismal, or warm and inviting?
Is your meal providing an alluring freshly-baked aroma? Or can you just smell the burnt cheese from a dirty microwave?
Have a small taste. Describe the flavours: “the main flavour wasn’t as cheesy as I expected,” or maybe “the hint of nutmeg made the dish”. Has it been cooked to perfection? Or is it a little over or under-done? Did you get the temperate right?
You get the gist….the point is that eating slowly, really tasting your food and thinking about your meal will provide you with so much more pleasure that your desire for soggy pizza and salty processed chips will rapidly dissipate.
A positive attitude remains key to success and you need to stay cool, calm and collected. Let’s review what that means…
- Be patient – is your patience wearing thin? The honeymoon thoughts are over, but healthy choices aren’t quite second nature yet…. This is the point of testing. Remember that you’re trying to create new lifelong habits, so keep persevering. Your patience will pay off.Make an honest appraisal of what’s more and less difficult for you. Do the nutritional aspects interest you more easily than the activity element, or vice versa? Let’s consider exercise for example – even if you’re keen and able to timetable it effectively, it takes a few weeks to get properly into the swing of a new exercise regime. If you feel you’re struggling, think about why that is and consider setting more achievable targets. Ill health, pressure at work, whatever it might be these are understandable reasons for faltering, but don’t let them become excuses to give up. Too many people give up just when change is about to happen. Much the same applies to nutrition, identify what’s holding you back and don’t give up, find a way around it. Re-think targets so they work for you.
- Review what your motivation is – keep clearly in mind why you want to lose weight, stay focused on the reasons that motivated you right at the start. Remain committed to step by step change; this was never going to be a quick fix. You know now, the impact on health of good nutrition and beneficial exercise – let that also strengthen your resolve.
Click to view SiSU Health’s 5 ways to practice mindful eating guide!
Health Library Workout