Two Simple Steps to Practice Mindful Eating
This year has come with a lot of change so far: physical, mental, and emotional. We’re only four months into 2019, yet so much has happened rapidly. There’s been career growth, lessons learned, and plenty more to come. One of the most significant changes Sabine and I have experienced so far is related to our eating habits.
We’ve become more mindful of what we’re feeding our bodies. At the start of 2019, we felt a huge push to make positive changes to the way we cared for ourselves, externally and internally. It wasn’t necessarily about weight loss, but for making sure we were caring for our bodies in the best way possible. With all that ensued after graduating from college (moving to a new state, getting our first jobs, and so much more!), we began to neglect ourselves a little bit.
To be honest, we could’ve been eating healthier and making the time to exercise, so at the start of 2019, we knew we had to make a positive change. Eating mindfully allowed us to be kinder to ourselves and led to an effective gym routine. For us, being mindful came down to two simple steps:
PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR BODY
What is your body responding negatively to? What is it loving? What could it use more of? These three questions are a great place to start when it comes to showing yourself a little more love.
For example, we realized dairy was a big no. Anything containing a high amount of dairy made us feel terrible and sluggish, so it made perfect sense to cut that out. We started drinking almond or soy milk and cut out other dairy-filled foods or drinks that went against us being able to function at our highest level. That’s not to say we completely stay away from it, but for the most part, we don’t consume dairy often.
We also increased our fruit and vegetable intake, which helped us realize our body needed way more of the nutrients they provide. Additionally, we made general changes like eating wholesome, healthy meals with high protein and less fats. It helps to plan ahead, so you’re not scrambling when you’re really hungry. You won’t be tempted to grab the first, and possibly not the best, option available to you.
Does anything leave your stomach in knots? What gets you energized? For the next couple days, make note of how certain foods make you and your body feel.
UNDErstand the intention behind your eating
Is when you eat based on emotion or is it rooted in you body’s needs. Whether it be happiness, stress, anxiety, or sadness, you can find yourself eating based on the emotions you feel. Instead make note of your body’s hunger signals. For example, when I’m hungry, my stomach may growl, I’ll get lightheaded, or sometimes get a headache.
When I started making note of this, I was able to see how often my eating tied into my emotions. Specifically, when I wasn’t feeling so great, I craved anything sweet to give my mood an extra boost. It wasn’t healthy for me, nor was it the best way to process what I was feeling at the time. Now, before I eat, I make sure to check in with myself and make sure I’m eating because my body actually needs to refuel.
Have you become more mindful of your eating habits. Let me know some other tips you keep in mind in the comments!