This month has been spent going over all of the wonderful advantages of mindful eating, but we have not explicitly stated what connects all of these tips and tricks together- reflection. When I think of reflection, I do not see the connection to mindful eating, but this post will show that it is indeed connecting to your diet.
Reflection can be done before, during, and after eating your meal to ensure a mindful eating experience. Before eating your meal, ask yourself if you are hungry, how hungry you are and what you are hungry for. Asking yourself these questions will help guide your portions and meal choices. This will help you be conscious of what you are about to eat, instead of grabbing the first thing you see out of the fridge to satisfy your hunger.
We talked a little bit about reflecting on your meal earlier this month. This is the time to sit quietly and eat slowly. You may find that when you eat quickly, you do not realize that you are full until it is too late because your brain and your stomach are out of synch. Eating slowly and thoughtfully keeps your body in tune with itself and you will find that you will actually eat less because you are consistently listening to your hunger/full signals.
Finally, when you are done eating what is on your plate, is important to ask if you are satisfied. If you are- great! If not, think about what you want. Maybe it is a fresh fruit or vegetable for a refreshing end to your meal. Maybe it is some more filling food. It is okay to go up for seconds, as long as that is what your body is asking for!
Another advantage of reflection when it comes to mindful eating is that sometimes we eat due to our emotions, which leads to stress and weight gain. Reflection allows us to hone in on why we are eating. It could be because we had a particularly stressful day at work instead of the fact that we are actually hungry. If you know that you may be eating due to stress, you can allow yourself to go for walk or go to yoga class to begin to let go instead of turning to food.
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Call to book your complimentary coaching call with Kay today at: 301-869-1787 if you think you are experiencing emotional eating.
Sweet Life Wellness Student Intern
Dietetics student at University of Maryland-College Park