Heart Health: 6 Simple Steps to Mindful Eating

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By Dolly M George

06 Feb, 2018

#Dietitian


Do you find yourself hurrying through your meals? Do you routinely eat while working, driving, reading, watching television? Or do you just eat everything in front of you just because it's there? Well, that's mindless eating at work-- the kind of eating, that can prompt you to eat more than what your body’s needs, which  in turn can be bad for your heart and waistline too!


Just think the contrary …… and it is mindful eating. It works by increasing your awareness of what, why and how much you should be eating. With mindful eating you're conscious of your hunger and fullness signals--- you obviously control portions, choose healthy options and avoid emotional binge eating as well.


Now, if you have come to realise, that you were eating mindlessly, here are a few ways to start right:


1. Get started with a Heart-Healthy Grocery Shopping: Be heart-smart and choose the right food while shopping for groceries.


2. Come to the table with an appetite, not famished: Sometimes you  eat out of routine, not hunger. Before you eat, ask yourself as to whether you are truly hungry and eat only when you are hungry. Listen and pay attention to your body cues for fulness and eat only what is required to fuel your body. Also, don’t wait until you’re starving, as you might end up overeating.


3. Start with a small portion: Choose just enough food to satisfy that hunger.  Use smaller plates, as a bigger one can encourage you to fill it up with more food than what is needed.


4. Slow down: Take time to know what you are eating and relish each bite by taking small bites and chewing it well. Above and beyond, give your body enough time to trigger your brain to get the feeling of fulness.


5. Overcome distracted and emotional eating. Eating while watching TV or at your desk  and eating to deal with stress, anger or boredom will lead you to eat more. Tackling distracted and emotional eating  can help prevent overindulgence.


6. Keep a journal. Write down everything you eat and drink, the amount, the time, and how you felt before you ate—was it due to hunger, stress or boredom? This can literally increase your awareness. Then, look for areas you can adjust and incorporate healthy changes.

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