Mindful Eating Can Help Balance Nutrition and Shed Pounds

Change eating habits by listening to your body during mealtime


Are you eating a rainbow of food each day?

Image provided by Shutterstock

If food were a person, what type of relationship would the two of you have? Are you always stressed out and tense when you’re together or do you treat food as a welcomed guest? Are you in a rut? Is your relationship full of life and color or is it bleak and dreary; washed out of energy and vibrancy?

Case Study

Tammy was about 10 pounds overweight. She felt sluggish and tired most of the day. After looking at her daily eating habits, I found that she was barely eating throughout the day and then overeating at night. She especially did a lot of after dinner snaking on chips & pretzels.

I had her realize that what feeds our body, besides the breath, are the nutrients we receive from our food. So by incorporating her five senses of taste, smell, vision, hearing and touch into her newly educated food choices, she found her meals to be more satisfying, she was excited about a daily variety of fruits and vegetables and she boosted her energy level. Her excess weight melted off.

Here are today’s 7 tips:

1. Eat a rainbow of color by consuming fruits and vegetables (organic when possible). Live foods give you energy and nourishment. Notice all the beautiful colors of foods in the produce department. At the end of the day, have you eaten all 7 colors of the rainbow?

2. Give your body what it needs. You are bio-individual. What you need and what works best for you is available if you listen. Your body will communicate if you pay attention. Notice the feedback your body gives you when you eat specific cuisines. Do you get sleepy, does your tongue get sore and bumpy, or does your head have a dull ache after you eat certain foods? Notice, record and look for patterns. Your body’s always talking to you, so heed the guidance it is giving you and follow it toward health.

3. Eat mindfully. When you eat, pay attention to your mental and emotional state. Stress interferes with your ability to digest food and absorb nutrients. Give the TV, the newspaper and negativity a time-out.

4. Show gratitude for your food. The Buddhists have a practice called the “Five Contemplations While Eating.” Before eating they acknowledge where the food came from, the people and work it took to grow the food, transport it, cook it and serve it.

5. Celebrate the ritual of eating. Make your plate attractive, set a nice table and enjoy the pleasure of dining. Even if you’re alone, there’s no reason to eat out of a to-go carton standing up in the kitchen.

6. Eat regularly. This is a great way to honor yourself and help shed some pounds. Erratic eating trains the body to hold onto extra as a survival mechanism.

7. Listen to your body. Chew slowly. Start shrinking your portions. Let your body know that you’ll pay attention to its signals of hunger and fullness. Give yourself 20 minutes before you go back for that second helping. You’ll be surprised how much extra energy you’ll have if you eat smaller portions more often.

Click HERE for more information about Intentional Cuisine.

Here’s a handy guide for you to print, cut out and use as a reminder.

Donna Burick, a member of our 2016 Fit Family Challenge Panel of Experts, is a certified Holistic Life Coach Energy Therapist specialized in Body Talk™. With coaching and energy therapy, Burick guides her clients through the stress and chaos that comes with being a parent, creating solutions to help them find peace, clarity and happiness in their lives. For more information, please visit donnaburick.com or call 336-540-0088.

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