Life is busy, but distracted or on-the-go eating means you may not have time to stop and taste your food or listen to your body. One way to get back in touch with how food makes you feel is to try mindful eating.
Mindful eating is a practice that teaches you to become more aware of eating habits and make healthy choices. It helps you slow down and be more present while eating, leading to healthy food choices and feeling better after meals.
If you live with diabetes, you may already feel like you are constantly thinking about what you eat. But mindful eating may actually help you gain new energy and less stressed so you can enjoy the taste of your food.
What is mindful eating?
Mindful eating requires awareness of your body's cues before, during, and after eating. It means being present in the moment and not letting your thoughts wander beyond what's right in front of you.
The goal of mindful eating is to focus primarily on your food, including how it tastes and makes you feel.
How can mindful eating help with diabetes?
There are several ways that mindful eating can help with diabetes. For one, it can help you to be more aware of your blood sugar levels and how different foods affect them. It can also help you think about your food, quality, and how much you eat.
Have you ever eaten a meal and realized you ate way more than you needed to because you were distracted or eating so fast you weren't really enjoying your food? Mindful eating can help you avoid these situations by teaching you to slow down and enjoy your food.
Mindful eating is also a helpful tool to combat emotional eating or eating for reasons other than hunger. If you are eating mindfully, you are more likely to be aware of your body's cues and only eat when you are actually hungry. This can help you to avoid eating when you are bored, stressed, or unhappy.
How to get started with mindful eating
If you're interested in exploring mindful eating, there are a few things you can try to get started:
- Listen to your body's hunger cues. Eat when you're truly hungry, and stop when you're full. Sometimes this is the hardest part because we're used to eating when we're not necessarily hungry or eating way past the point of feeling full, so don't be surprised if it takes practice.
- Focus on your food. When you're eating, really focus on the taste, texture, and smell of your food.
- Take your time. Eat slowly and savor each bite.
- Avoid distractions. Turn off the TV and put away your phone.
Mindful eating takes practice but 9am.health is here to help
Mindful eating takes practice, but it's a skill you can develop over time. The Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialists (CDCES) at 9am.health are here to help create eating plans that fit your lifestyle. Learn more here.