Practice Mindful Eating

One of the tools I use to learn about my clients eating habits is the “24 hour recall”. I simply ask people what they ate yesterday.  I am always shocked to see how many people “forget”.  Think about it – what did you eat yesterday?  Try to write down every single thing.   It is harder than it sounds!

After some research into “mindful eating” I was not surprised to learn that over 77% of us eat while distracted (in fact I would have thought this number would be higher).  Atlantic Canadians are most likely to eat while distracted compared to our fellow Canadians in Montreal who have the most “mindful” eating habits. I believe strongly that we eat with our “minds” instead of “our stomachs”.  It is no wonder we are always hungry – our minds are not paying attention to the food we eat – so therefore we look for more food.

I am an incredibly fast eater.  I am always the first to finish a meal then I endure the awkward moment when people say – “there is more there if you want seconds”.  They must think I am starving!  I am also a very “busy” person.  I thought “multitasking” was strength!

Since my Yoga Teacher Training began – I started to focus more on the present moment.  This is a very powerful experience.  I have taken my Yoga off my mat and to the dinner table.  I have begun to notice my food more.  Tastes, textures – likes and dislikes.  I have even taken “mindful” eating into my Dietetic Practice. I have had so much success with my clients!  I have found that we eat less when we pay attention – because the “mind” becomes “full”!

I dare you to try it.  EAT without distractions this week.  Pay attention.  Be prepared – it can be a challenge – similar to the ability to calm our thoughts on the yoga mat – “mindful eating” takes practice.  Do not get discouraged if you can’t do it at first.  Enjoy the act of eating!

More Inspiration: Check out this article on the health benefits of seeds!

Author: Jennifer Brenton is a yoga teacher based in Halifax, Nova Scotia and an occasional writer for Optimyz.

3 thoughts on “Practice Mindful Eating

  • March 19, 2011 at 9:10 am
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    Thanks Denise!! So true 🙂

  • March 15, 2011 at 1:53 pm
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    Happy National Dietitians Day!
    Continuing to enjoy your blog- this one in particular hits “home” for me- I remember having a frozen vanilla yogurt soft serve cone a couple of summers ago and being amazed at how good it was when I paid attention! That’s why new foods and flavours are so much more satisfying- you notice more because of the novelty.

  • March 14, 2011 at 10:14 pm
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    Yay! Let’s put this to work on Wednesday 🙂

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