Mindful Eating: The Secret to Smaller Portions and Greater Fulfillment

by Pratyush Anand

Mindful eating is about paying full attention to your food, the sight, smell, taste, texture - without distractions. It's about slowing down and enjoying the experience, not just shovelling food in.

1. What is Mindful Eating?

Before reaching for seconds, ask yourself: Am I truly hungry, or am I bored, stressed, or thirsty? Mindful eating helps you recognize true hunger cues - stomach growls, low energy - not emotional cravings.

2. Tune In to Hunger Cues

Mindful eating isn't just about the act of eating. Planning meals and snacks helps avoid unhealthy choices when hunger strikes. Stock your pantry with healthy options like nut butter and prepare balanced meals.

3. Plan Your Meals

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Slow down. Put down your phone and focus on your meal. Chew thoroughly, notice flavours unfold, and appreciate the textures. This helps you feel satisfied with less food.

4. Savor Each Bite 

Our bodies take time to register fullness. Mindful eating teaches you to listen to your body's signals. Stop eating when you're comfortably full, not stuffed, to avoid overeating.

5. Respect Your Fullness

Multitasking at mealtimes is a recipe for overeating. Turn off the TV, put away your phone, and focus solely on your food. This allows you to savour your meal and avoid mindless munching.

6. No More Distracted Eating

Stop labelling foods as "good" or "bad." Restrictive diets can backfire. Mindful eating helps develop a healthy relationship with food, allowing you to enjoy all foods in moderation.

7. Make Peace With Food

Food is meant to be shared and savoured with loved ones. Focus on the conversation and the company, not just the food. This helps you eat at a slower pace and feel more satisfied.

8. Enjoy the Company

Take a deep breath before each meal. Slow down and appreciate the food in front of you. This mindfulness practice helps you connect with your body and avoid emotional eating.

9. Be Present in the Moment

10. Practice Makes Perfect

Like any skill, mindful eating takes practice. Don't get discouraged by setbacks. Be patient with yourself and keep incorporating mindful practices into your meals. You'll see a difference in your relationship with food and your eating habits.

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Ileana D'Cruz: Fit, Foodie, and Fabulous