Five tips for eating more mindfully

Most of us will sit down to a meal or grab food on the go and consume it without thinking too hard about what we are doing. After a period of time we might wonder how come we put on weight or why we feel so sluggish and tired. Here are 5 tips on how to be more mindful and aware of what and how we are consuming.

The 20% rule

Most people in the western world will stop eating when they are full. People from eastern cultures will stop eating when they are no longer hungry. There is a big difference in food and calorie intake between no longer being hungry and being full. Try eating 20% less. Serve up 20% less than you think you might want. Chances are you won’t miss it. For fruits and vegetables try eating 20% more.

Declare your over-eating

Next time you reach for a snack or chocolate bar and you are not hungry, stop for a minute and say very loudly “ I  am not hungry but I am going to eat this anyway”. It might just be enough to make you stop and think.

Bigger definitely isn’t better

People will eat more when their food is served on a bigger plate or in a larger container. Try serving your meals on a smaller plate.

Go for tall thin glasses

When pouring a drink try and use tall thin glasses rather than short fat ones. Studies have shown that on average people will tend to pour 30% more drink into a wide glass as compared to a tall slender one. That’s OK if its water you’re drinking, but not so good for thick milk-shakes or alcohol!

Avoid the See Food diet

If we see food around us we tend to want to eat it, especially if it is snack food, cakes, chocolate or candy. So to avoid this situation put the foods away in containers, covered jars, anywhere we can’t see it. As the saying goes out of sight, out of mind. On the other hand put the healthy foods directly in the line of sight; for example bowls of fresh fruit on the kitchen counter, healthy juices or dips at the front of the refrigerator.

Try implementing some of these ideas over a period of a week or two and see if you notice any difference in your eating habits.