Most of us are so used to being on the go, running from one place to the next, working, driving from here to there, multi-tasking, and thinking of what we have to do next before we even finish our current task. Especially as a crossfitter, it’s a habit that everything is FOR TIME. 3…2…1… NO. Stop. Sloooooow down.
Just take a second right now to close your eyes. Take a long, deep breath in through your nose and out through your nose. Doesn’t that feel so good? It’s almost like we forget to breathe because we are so used to rushing to the next thing.
What I wanted to touch on quickly is practicing MINDFUL EATING. Or even just mindfulness in general. But we’re going to focus on mindful eating today… slowing down and really enjoying and understanding why you are eating what you are eating and getting in tune with your own body. We focus on WHAT we’re eating and not necessarily HOW or WHY we are eating. Ask yourself, when you eat a meal, is it because you are truly hungry? Is it convenient? Is it because you know it’s dinner time? Was it just there as you were walking by? Were you upset and wanted to have something sweet to feel better? Was it just because it tasted good even though you were full?
Most of us are super out of tune with ourselves and our bodies signals or hunger cues. Mindful eating is about slowing down, even before you eat a meal. Explore if you are truly hungry, if you are just bored, or maybe you are just thirsty. When you start to feel hungry, drink water and see if that helps. If you’re still hungry shortly after, then decide you are going to SIT DOWN and eat a meal or snack. Sit down with your meal in front of you and look at your plate. What does it smell like? Does it look as good as it tastes? Are you choosing foods that you know will satisfy your hunger? Are the foods on your plate going to fuel you for the rest of the day/until the next meal?
Be more conscious of the meals you eat while you are eating them. Focus on that meal and ONLY that meal. Eliminate distractions. This may mean no phones, no watching TV, no reading…. no eating while driving or running around and shoveling food into your mouth… it may mean just sitting down at a table and eating that meal without any extra distraction. This doesn’t mean you have to eat alone but just eliminating excess distractions. UNPLUG. Really focus on enjoying your food and the mental part of eating.
Start by chewing your food SLOWER. Eating the entire meal SLOWER. Time yourself. No joke. At your next meal, eat as you normally would but start your timer first. If it takes you 4:00 to eat your meal, try to slow down for your next meal and make it last 8:00. I did this yesterday and my lunch took me 6:00 to eat. So at dinner, I decided to try and use the tips below to slow down my meal. Dinner took me around 11:00. Wow! And it honestly tasted so much better and was more satisfying than most dinners tend to be after a long day. But how do you slow down your eating?
You eat to live and nourish your body… it shouldn’t necessarily be a comfort thing. It shouldn’t be a reward for a tough workout either. It shouldn’t always be something to make you feel better after a really bad day. Food is your FUEL above all. Food gives us the energy to do daily activities, exercise, work, and even to just breathe. You should be aware of your hunger levels and truly feel hungry BEFORE you eat and satisfied afterwards. Not completely stuffed and full and bloated. Eat to that “satisfied” or slightly full feeling. You can always eat another snack or meal later when you truly feel hungry again.
This all may seem silly to you but it’s just about being more AWARE and MINDFUL and not eating on auto-pilot, Take the time to enjoy the meal and embrace your feelings. Understand why you are eating what you are eating is HUGE. Slooooooow down next time you eat a meal.
Start with a small step. For a week, practice eating SLOWER. After a week of that, try removing all distractions while eating as well. After a week of that, practice eating to that satisfied fullness. You will become so in tune with yourself and your body. It will also help to develop a healthy relationship with food. It’s hard to do but can be so worth it. I challenge you to implement these steps into your lifestyle and see what works for you!
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“Time is a created thing. To say, ‘I don’t have time’ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to’.”
I am passionate about creating a healthy lifestyle for myself & helping those around me.