Updated: Nov 14
Making healthy eating choices can seem like a challenge when the mind craves that sweet, salty, or indulgent treat that you know you deserve but also know won't serve your body's health. Try treating yourself differently or even change your mind about what a treat is. A treat can be something healthy for you!
Once you break the habit of eating those treats you know do not serve your body's best interest, you no longer have the physical cravings for that food. That is a HUGE first step in making healthy choices. But, also where the challenge can come in because the mind still craves those treats even if the body isn't.
The best way I have found to break physical and mental habits around eating is through conscious eating. It's not about taking anything away but about being wholly engaged in the whole process of eating. When you stop eating habitually, and instead eat consciously, there is a naturalness to eating less while feeling more fulfilled!
Conscious eating is when you give attention to the physical and emotional sensations of eating without judgment. It involves slowing down, gratitude, savoring each bite, and being mindful of how food affects your body and mind.
Watch the below 13-minute conscious eating meditation to help you appreciate your food, slow down, and put in your mouth food that you can enjoy but will also nurture your body.
If it only takes 13 minutes, why wouldn't you watch if the rewards can be a more balanced and healthy way of approaching mealtime!?
But you have to stay with it! I'm not saying watch this video every time you eat. Your food would get cold. Take what you learn from the video with you into every meal. You will then organically begin to make choices that are good for you and allow yourself that, once in a while, cheat without guilt.
Conscious Eating Meditation
Watch on YouTube or press play.
Here are some tips for conscious eating:
Eat slowly and savor each bite. Take the time to appreciate the taste, texture, and aroma of your food. Chew your food thoroughly before swallowing.
Give attention to your hunger and fullness cues. Eat when you're hungry and stop when you're full. Don't eat based on emotions or external cues, such as the time of day or the sight of food.
Eliminate distractions. Eating should be a time to focus on your food and your body. Turn off the TV, put away your phone, and focus on your meal. When you're eating, be present in the moment.
Choose nutrient-rich foods. Eat whole, unprocessed foods whenever possible. Limit your intake of processed foods, sugary drinks, and unhealthy fats.
Practice gratitude. Before you start eating, take a moment to express gratitude for your food and where it came from. This can help you to appreciate the meal and eat with more mindfulness.
Listen to your body. Pay attention to how your body feels after eating different foods. Notice if certain foods make you feel tired, sluggish, or uncomfortable.
Eat in a calm and relaxed environment. Avoid eating when you're stressed or rushed. Find a peaceful place to enjoy your meal. Sit down to eat your meal.
Be mindful of your portions. Eat smaller portions and savor each bite. You can always go back for seconds if you're still hungry.
Conscious eating can be a powerful tool for improving your relationship with food and your overall health. By following these tips, you can learn to eat more mindfully and make healthier choices for your body.
Here are some additional tips for incorporating conscious eating into your daily life:
Start small. Begin by practicing conscious eating at one meal a day. Once you've gotten comfortable with that, you can gradually extend it to other meals.
Don't be afraid to experiment. There is no one right way to practice conscious eating. Find what works best for you and your body.
Be patient with yourself. It takes time to develop a mindful relationship with food. Don't get discouraged if you slip up from time to time. Just pick yourself up and keep trying.
You've got this! And remember, it's natural to fall away from newly found healthy habits if you do not remain consistent. Let the love, peace, and joy you feel while eating consciously drive your continued practice. And if you need some reinforcement, contact me or try one of my Cleanse programs, 2-Week or 11-Step Cleanse.
In Loving Service,
Heather Indu Arena
What changes are you making in your health this year?
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