Mindfulness has been a big buzzword lately. The idea is that paying attention to yourself and what surrounds you in the present helps keep you from worrying over the past or future, and from autopiloting into unhealthy habits.
One unhealthy habit that we’re all prone to this season is overeating.

“Mindless eating has always been an issue,” says Riska Platt, M.S., a registered dietitian and certified nutritionist for the Cardiac Rehabilitation Center in New York. “Just by paying more attention to what you eat, you’re more likely to make beneficial changes.”

Here are some useful tips toward a more mindful approach:

 

MINDFUL EATING TIPS

Think Small
Eat smaller portions.

Eat when hungry,
not simply because the clock says so, or someone else is snacking or loading up a plate, or because some tasty leftovers just caught your eye

Plan.
Think about the day ahead, and prepare healthy snacks if you know you’ll get hungry between meals. Protip: Fiber keeps you feeling full longer.

Slow down.
Enjoy each bite and put your fork down while chewing, then take a drink. This gives your body enough time to trigger your brain that you are satisfied.

Pay attention.
Do not eat in front of the TV or computer, or phone. When you do, you’re more likely to lose track of how much you’ve eaten.

As you try them out, you will not only avoid overeating, but also gain a greater appreciation for your food.
We believe that something about growing your food makes you more present to the experience of eating. Having watched the vegetables grow and take in water and nutrients and sunshine each day, the experience of picking and eating them fresh, of experiencing the diverse and complex flavors of organic, homegrown food.

Practicing this mindfulness also has the capacity to impact nearly every arena of your life. It has shown to be effective in managing emotions, diminishing pain, and treating addiction. Even among healthy adults and children, it helps create more coherent and healthy sense of self and identity. If you’re interested in learning more, the non-profit Mindful has useful online resources.