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Friday, February 11, 2011

Eating Mindfully

WHEN YOU ARE BUSY IT'S EASY TO DEVELOP UNHEALTHY, UNCONSCIOUS EATING HABITS.  
HERE`S HOW TO BREAK THE CYCLE.


How many times do you sit down in front of the TV or your laptop and before you know it you haven`t eaten anything?

Today`s busy schedules mean that for many of us, sitting down to a well prepared meal at a table and taking the time to savor every mouthful rarely, if ever, happens.

Eating mindlessly could lead to bad habits and weight gain, but there is a solution.

`Mindful Eating` encourages you to be aware of what you are eating so you will automatically make health choices. Mindfulness has it`s roots in Buddhism and is being recognised as one of the keys to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  Eating mindfully means paying attention to the food that you eat - the taste, texture and aroma.

Living a fast paced lifestyle means food often becomes a reward, a punishment or merely fuel. Being busy can lead people to miss meals during the day, which makes them too hungry later on, so they overeat.

There are no `good` and `bad` foods, just some have more health benefits than others.

The positive effects of mindful eating can spill over into other areas of your life. Reasearch published in the Journal of American Dietetic Association found regular yoga practice can help prevent weight gain in middle age.




ARE YOU A MINDLESS EATER?
  • Do you respond to external cues such as the smell of hot chips or an ad for a chocolate bar?
  • Do you continue eating even when full because the food tastes good?
  • Do you eat because of an emotional response?
  • Are you distracted while you eat and focused on something other than your food?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you're not eating mindfully.  But you can train yourself by following the steps below.

HOW TO EAT MINDFULLY

  • Always sit down at a table to eat.  If you eat lunch at your desk, go outside and eat your food in a local park so there are no distractions.
  • Play relaxing music while you eat if you are not used to total silence.
  • Plate your food up attractively, paying attention to portion size.  Make sure a quarter carbohydrates and half salad or vegetables.
  • Learn to recognise what hunger really fees like and how it feel to be pleasantly satisfied, not FULL.
  • Concentrate on eating slowly and chew your food well.
  • Make sure you savour every mouthful and really taste what you are eating.
  • Be conscious of the food you eat and how it affects your body.  Choose good quality produce.
  • Feel your fullness.  eating slowly can help your stomach let you know when you have had enough.
 Paying respect and attention to how you nourish yourself is what your body deserves.





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