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10 Ways To Practice Mindful Eating

10 Ways To Practice Mindful Eating

Eating is a natural, healthy, and pleasurable activity for satisfying hunger. However, in our food abundant, diet-obsessed culture, eating is often mindless, consuming, and guilt inducing instead. Mindful eating is an ancient mindfulness practice with applications for resolving this troubled love-hate relationship with food.

Mindful eating is eating with attention and intention. It is eating with the intention of caring for yourself. It is also eating with the attention necessary for noticing and enjoying your food and its effects on your body.

As you can see, mindful eating is much more than “eating slowly, without distraction.” While it is certainly a major point or aspect of it, it definitely is not everything.

Mindful eating encompasses the entire process of eating:

– Awareness of your physical and emotional cues.
– Recognition of your non-hunger triggers for eating.
– Learning to meet your other needs in more effective ways than eating.
– Choosing food for both enjoyment and nourishment.
– Eating for optimal satisfaction and satiety.
– Using the fuel you’ve consumed to live the vibrant life you crave.
– This broad application makes mindful eating a powerful tool for developing a healthier, happier relationship with food.

1. Eat A Plant-Based Diet

Researchers at the University of Chicago estimate the Average American could reduce global warming by becoming vegetarian. It is certainly more helpful than buying a Camry or Prius.

When eating meat products, especially red meat, there is a greater chance of colon cancer and heart disease. Switch red meat and dairy to poultry and eggs one day a week as a beginning tool. This is good for both you and our environment.

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plant based

    2. Don’t Skip Meals

    Skipping meals makes it harder to make mindful choices. When hunger pangs strike, you are prone to grab whatever is closest to your hand. This can mean stopping at a fast-food restaurant or buying something unhealthy from a vending machine.

    Plan regular meals to help give a constant eating rhythm to the body. Do not eat fast, but eat slowly! This allows the body to process all that is going inside of you.

    fitness tip

      3. Chew Thoroughly

      Chew each bite until it is liquified. This can be up to 20 to 40 times, but it is worth it. Chewing helps the tongue and palate taste the food better and reduces the possibility of choking.

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      chew

        4. Avoid Overeating

        There is a huge difference between eating enough and eating as though you can’t contain the contents of the food you just ate. Mindful eaters practice the former so they do not overtax their bodies.

        Portion

          5. Eat Slowly

          Eat slowly so you know when you can stop before you eat too much. You will be surprised to find out in Chinese medicine, one is to eat until he or she is only 80% full in order to keep the digestive system working efficiently.

          eat slow

            6. Focus on the Meal

            Choosing to focus on the food or meal allows you to truly enjoy the eating experience.

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              7. Drink Water Before Eating

              When you drink a glass of water before you eat, you eat less afterwards and don’t put on as many calories. Plus, you remain far from dehydrated, and your body gets adequate hydration to keep you awake and full of energy.

              drinking-water

                8. Engage All Six Senses

                As you serve and eat your food, observe the sounds, colors, smells, and textures involved in your food. Do not just rely on the taste alone. When you put your first bite in your mouth, act as though this was the first time you tasted the particular food.

                Practicing in engaging the senses helps you enjoy the food.

                open mind

                  9. Honor The Food

                  Start the meal with five contemplations or whichever traditional prayer or form of gratitude you choose to prefer. The five contemplations:

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                  1. This food is the gift of the whole universe: the earth, the sky, numerous living beings and much hard, loving work.

                  2. May we eat with mindfulness and gratitude so as to be worthy to receive it.

                  3. May we recognize and transform our unwholesome mental formations, especially our greed, and learn to eat with moderation.

                  4. May we keep our compassion alive by eating in such a way that we reduce the suffering of living beings, preserve our planet, and reverse the process of global warming.

                  5. We accept this food so that we may nurture our sisterhood and brotherhood, strengthen our community, and nourish our ideal of serving all living beings.

                  greek vegetable

                    10. Rate Your Hunger

                    Know how hungry you are. Then, rate yourself. Eat according to how hungry you are. If you are not filled, eat a snack later on in a few hours. This helps you control your weight.

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                      Featured photo credit: mad for health via madforhealth.com.au

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                      Ramanpreet Kaur

                      Currently a student but don't know what direction to go in: Let us see if writing gets me anywhere :)

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                      Last Updated on September 16, 2019

                      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                      You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                      We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                      The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                      Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                      1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                      Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                      For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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                      • (1) Research
                      • (2) Deciding the topic
                      • (3) Creating the outline
                      • (4) Drafting the content
                      • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                      • (6) Revision
                      • (7) etc.

                      Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                      2. Change Your Environment

                      Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                      One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                      3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                      Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                      Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                      My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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                      Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                      4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                      If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                      Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                      I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                      5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                      I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                      Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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                      As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                      6. Get a Buddy

                      Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                      I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                      7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                      This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                      For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                      8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                      What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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                      9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                      If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                      Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                      10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                      Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                      Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                      11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                      At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                      Reality check:

                      I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

                      More About Procrastination

                      Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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