Attention = Awareness = Choice
Learning to eat mindfully and with a purpose will be the most important skill on your journey to eating without tracking. When I first started tracking my macros I reintroduced foods that I had avoided in the past such as bread, dairy and candy. And even though they didn’t make me feel great, sometimes I ate them anyway. It wasn’t until I stopped and paid some attention that I realized that the bread was making me bloated, excessive dairy really did hurt my stomach and that the candy was completely unsatisfying. I quickly lost the desire to make poor choices and found excitement in my new found ability to make smart ones! For those of us on a cut and feeling a little unmotivated or at the beginning of our journey, this is so crucial. Being hungry sucks and it’s the sure fast road to going off the rails. Your coaches have ensured that you have a sufficient caloric intake to eliminate this, given you’re working with us to help reach your goals!
Below are some tips and tricks to help you master the art of eating mindfully and with purpose.
- Understand your why. Ask Yourself:
- Why do I want to eat?
- Am I actually hungry?
- Am I bored?
- Am I emotional?
- Do I need to fuel myself to train?
- What do I really want to eat and will the choice that I make leave me feeling used and abused, or will I feel nourished and satiated, full of energy allowing me to keep crushing through the day and life?
- Will the choice that I make now be the best choice for me later? — i.e. is this 22g cookie worth the 200g of delicious potatoes that I could eat with my dinner?
- Am I ok with the possibility that I might be a really unhappy human later, who no one wants to be around?
- Plan a date with your food
Plan and think of your mealtime similar to that of a date
- Show up and be fully present.
- Stop, take a breath and appreciate what you have in front of you!
- Savor the moment.
Even if you only have 5 minutes with your beloved sandwich or fat-free cheesy omelet with oven-baked fries - make the most of the time you have. You wouldn’t sit on your cell phone, talk to other people or work on the computer if you only had five minutes with your hot date, so why would you not give your beloved meal the same love and attention it deserves!
- Pay Attention To The Party In Your Mouth
- Pay attention to how it feels to eat & engage all your senses
- Occasionally check in with yourself and take note when you start to feel full
- Use Cutlery & Eat Slowly
- Use cutlery to slow down your eating time
- Eat only at the table where possible
- Do not allow yourself to cut the next portion until you’ve swallowed the portion you have in your mouth
- Slow down and enjoy the ride. Be it the texture of the bun, the creaminess of the melted cheese, the smell of the fresh bread... whatever amazing meal you’re consuming, when we stuff our face quicker than you can say boo, we allow no time for our brain to register that we’ve eaten. Try to keep in mind it takes roughly 20 minutes for this to happen. How many times have you finished eating and immediately want to eat again? At guess you were probably jamming your sandwich in your face whilst playing on your cell phone, all within the space of five minutes.
- Take a Break
Stop mid-meal and do something else for five minutes. This is something I try to do often. In the morning, I like to eat half my breakfast (fully present of course) then continue with preparing myself for work. When I return I have the remaining half of my breakfast left, I feel fuller than I did to begin with which helps me to eliminate overeating AND I get to enjoy the amazing flavors all over again!
- Get Creative
Busyness often destroys our ability to channel our creative juices into our daily routine. Use the time you have to embrace your inner artist. The beauty of adopting a flexible approach to your nutrition is that it allows you to create any masterpiece your heart and tummy desires. The opportunities are endless. All it takes is a little thought and feeling. Check out our beloved @the_flexible_baker if you're in need of some inspiration.
- Be Grateful
Mastering the art of gratitude takes practice, yet it's one of the simplest and fulfilling ways we can open up our thinking and our lives to receiving love and joy. The ways in which we can choose to express this are endless. Below are some examples of how we can give thanks and be grateful each day:
- For the meal itself
- For the person and work that went into collecting and preparing the ingredients - the baker who baked your bread, the butcher who prepared your meat, etc.
- For the beautiful people in your life.
- For the endless opportunities that surround and are open to you.
- Give Yourself A High Five
For just being you and being awesome!
Do you have any of your own personal tips that help you to eat mindfully? We'd love to hear about them in the comments below!