Do you often find yourself consuming more calories than you had originally planned or over-indulging in foods you don’t really love out of habit or convenience?
Below are some tips to help you implement more mindful eating habits:
1) Ask yourself: am I eating this because I truly WANT IT or because it’s in front of me? We often over-indulge in foods because we eat them without much thought. Pay attention to every bite you take & check in with yourself about whether you want it and whether you’re even actually hungry. Same goes for drinking.
2) Notice your food associations. Do you always drink beer with the football game? Do you always eat cake at a birthday party? Do you always get popcorn at the movies? Check in with yourself about whether or not you even ENJOY eating these things or if you’ve just been conditioned to indulge in them with certain behaviors. Let yourself enjoy the things you really love, but find healthier swaps for the things you feel indifferent about.
3) Once you’ve established which foods you really love & enjoy vs. which foods you’re eating mindlessly out of habit or convenience, enjoy SMALL PORTIONS of those foods you really love. You will get the same satisfaction out of eating 6 wings as you would out of eating 20 & you will feel a lot better afterward, too.
4) If this all makes sense, but you still struggle with self-control, impulse-control, or being mindful/present while eating and drinking, consider setting alarms on your phone to remind you to check in with yourself during events where you know over-indulging is a possibility.
5) Don’t shame yourself. If you’ve eaten something that didn’t make you feel great or even if you’ve over-indulged in something, the worst thing you can do is beat yourself up about it or feel guilt and regret. Instead, the best thing to do is start with a clean slate and take back the control by making healthier choices the next day.
This may sound like a lot of work, but practiced over time these techniques will become second nature and lead you toward the healthier lifestyle you desire.