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Do you eat mindfully or mindlessly?

Are you a mindless eater?

Hands up all the mindless eaters. Busy lives, working at your desk, working from home, being exhausted, being stressed, having kids... life doesn’t stop and neither do we. When we eat mindlessly we eat more than we realise and we don’t always make the best choices.

If this is you (and my hand is definitely up!) here are a couple of strategies that can help you become more aware and therefore make better choices.

Keep a food diary for a few days.

Nothing brings your awareness to what you are eating quicker than recording every food and drink on a paper or electronic food diary. You can also take photo of what you eat If that’s easier! Reflecting back over a day of food choices will help you gain an appreciation of whether you over, under or just right nourishing your body. This includes the quality of your food choices as well as the quantity.

Do a mindful eating exercise.

By changing gear to low speed and taking your time to examine in detail the flavour, texture and experience of eating you become aware of how often you take no notice of eating!! You also notice how amazingly sweet an apple is, as well as noticing that the mindless choices you make sometimes don’t taste all that great. Being mindful about whether you are even hungry is also a valuable exercise.

Visual cues

We often reach for the food that is easiest to eat and within sight. By removing food and drinks that we tend to mindlessly reach for, such as the lolly jar, a coffee, a handful of nuts ...we remove the visual prompts. You can make these even more mindful by creating powerful mindful reminders of healthy habits. For example ensuring that the healthier food choice, an inspiring image or quote or a reminder is in your line of sight eg put a ‘Drink water!’ sign on the coffee machine.

Being mindful is the first step in recognising where you are making choices that are taking you away from your health goal. You can then decide what you want to do, making powerful choices instead.

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