Easter can be a challenging time to stick to a weight loss plan, luckily there are many strategies – like practicing mindful eating, which can help to keep you on track.
So what is mindful eating? Eating mindfully is when you become aware of your thoughts, feelings and physical sensations related to eating, and understanding your hunger and satiety cues (satiety refers to your feelings of satisfaction, or fullness). Multiple studies have shown mindful eating to be linked to improved eating behaviours and reduced portion sizes. Through the practice of mindful eating, you create greater awareness around hunger cues and learning when your body needs food and can learn to use self-control at times when you may be eating out of boredom or when you are thirsty. Practicing mindful eating during meals, assists you with recognising your level of satiety earlier and can in turn help you to eat less. Eating mindfully is all about understanding there is no need to restrict certain foods which might be deemed as ‘bad,’ it is about enjoying these foods in moderation. When you eat mindfully, you are creating positive eating behaviours, which can support you through your weight loss journey.
Here’s how to practice eating mindfully over Easter:
Listen to your hunger cues
Often when there’s social occasions like Easter, there may be finger food before the actual meal, which can make it easy to eat more than you need. The important part here is to listen to your body and take note of your hunger levels. How hungry are you? Are you just thirsty? There’s no need to try everything you are offered, so it’s ok to politely decline food and make a conscious choice about what you eat.
Slow it down and stop when you feel satisfied
When you’re eating your meal, slow down and tune into your body so you know when you reach that feeling of being ‘just satisfied’. Why not try:
- Taking smaller bites
- Chewing your food 10-20 times
- Pausing in between bites or halfway through your meal and have a drink of water
- Checking your hunger level, there’s no need to force yourself to finish your meal if you feel satisfied
Eat with your senses
When you eat with your senses, you are more aware of the food you are eating, you can get a greater sense of enjoyment, and you are more likely to be satisfied with less.
- What does your food look like, are you noticing all the different colours?
- Have you noticed the delicious aromas of your food?
- How does your food taste, is it sweet, sour, salty, bitter or umami?
- What is the texture of your food and how does it feel in your mouth, is it smooth, crunchy, soft, or hard?
- Can you hear the crunch as you take a bite of your food?
Take the time to notice the details of your food and get more satisfaction and enjoyment from your meal. If you would like to try some delicious meals and snacks – let Jenny Craig do the meal prep for you, while you simply enjoy it!