What is Mindful Eating?

Have you ever stressed over including that salad into at least one of your daily meals? Studies show that mindful eating may be the key to appreciating and eating meals without feeling rushed or stressed. According to the Harvard Medical School “by truly paying attention to the food you eat, you may indulge in these types of foods less often.” (https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/8-steps-to-mindful-eating)

We spoke to Toronto Naturopath Dr. Steyr regarding this perspective-and what his thoughts are on the difference of what to eat vs how to eat:

So many people focus on what to eat. That’s great-we need to know what’s healthy to eat. But at the end of the day, you can be eating all the salads you want, but if you’re eating very fast, stressed and anxious, it’s not going to do you well. Actually, salads are difficult for our guts to break down. So how do you eat salad? Eating calmly and eating well is more important. So I often say how you eat is more important or at least as equally important as what you eat. Don’t forget that because it makes the biggest difference in the world. 

Dr. Steyr also gave us some tips on how to eat more mindfully:

It’s important to not eat so quickly-stop the automatic eating when you’re at the office or even with friends. First things first-put down your knife and fork, chew your food, enjoy the food and make sure you have nothing in your hands. Even if it’s a burger or something else, put down that burger, put down that sandwich and only chew when you’ve got nothing in your hands. 

Next, don’t count but enjoy your food. Actually pause, pay attention to the flavour, try to pay attention to the different aspects of what you have in your mouth, the texture and everything that you enjoy. Food should be enjoyed. Enjoy it but don’t count. 

Last if you find that you eat really fast, you can’t put down the food, you’re in automatic, eat in portions, take your plate, divide it into two or three. Have a portion, eat it and wait to see if you’re hungry-wait 5 or 10 minutes. See how that goes and if you’re still hungry, pick up and eat the rest, or eat another portion. That way you can actually moderate how fast you eat, see if you’re full and you don’t have to eat to full- eat to 80% full. These tips will radically change how you feel with your digestion, and it may be all that you need. Give it a try!

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