As the warmer weather starts to hopefully make more of an appearance here in UK, I find myself changing my eating habits quite considerably. When it's particularly warm, which is a bit of a rare occurrence here in Scotland, I have to admit, I just don't feel like eating a heavy or indulgent meal. Sometimes I'm not even a fan of eating a roasting hot dish in that kind of weather either, so as a result I tend to make healthier choices without even realising it. That's not to say that I don't have the odd side of fries with my dinner or a cheeky takeaway at the weekend but I definitely find myself gravitating more towards salads, wraps and sandwiches instead of a big indulgent meal. And it got me thinking, why don't I try to make more of a conscious decision as to what I'm eating and why, all the way through the year, instead of constantly snacking, overindulging and eating just for the sake of it. And that's where the whole idea of mindful eating really caught my eye. Unlike fad diets and completely avoiding certain food groups, which I've never partaken in, it's about following some pretty common sense advice that can make a big difference to the way you think about food and in turn could improve your overall health as a result.
It's about putting a couple of rules into practice, all of which, as I said above are sensible common sense ways of thinking. And here they are;
- Really savour your food - Instead of just wolfing down what you're eating, take the time to truly savour it. I know myself that a lot of the time I start eating my dinner when it's that hot that I can't truly taste or appreciate the flavour of it. That's also when I normally end up burning my mouth but that's another story. So take your time and enjoy your food, instead of just racing to finish it.
- Chew your food well - By taking your time and chewing your food well it will result in you taking a longer time to eat your meal. And as it can often take our brains about twenty minutes to send a signal to our stomach to say 'I'm full', by chewing our food well and taking our time, less food is consumed in that twenty minute window.
- Listen to your body - Again, most of the time I know for a fact that I'm eating a packet of crisps or a chocolate bar solely because I'm bored and not in fact hungry. Or I'm desperate to have lunch or dinner hours before I really should do, most probably because I'm thirsty instead of hungry. Which leads me onto the next point.
- Don't eat for the sake of eating - I have a feeling that we are all probably guilty of this from time to time. I know that I am but instead of having a biscuit with every cup of tea or coffee just because it's habit, why not try to limit it to once a day or even just as a treat on a day when you've worked particularly hard.
- Don't constrain yourself to three scheduled meals a day - Whilst it's important to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner there's no rule to say that you need to eat three large meals instead of smaller bites throughout the day. I'm not talking about snacking here. What I mean is that instead of having a huge three course dinner, why not split up how much you're eating throughout the day and that way it's not as much to digest at one time and won't leave you feeling like you need a nap afterwards, which happens to me far too often to be honest.
To find out more about mindful eating, LV have also written a blog post (link here) which goes into a bit more detail. And thank you to LV who sent me out a spiralizer to put to the test. Expect a blog post dedicated to my summer spiralizing in the upcoming month or so.
So what do you think of the concept of mindful eating? Do you find that you tend to eat a little better in the warmer months too? And do you have any top tips for resisting temptation and snacks?