5 tips to help you stop eating on auto-pilot

Have you ever gotten to the bottom of a plate a food and almost can not remember the experience of having eaten ythe meal?

If you are eating your food on auto-pilot you are at greater risk of over eating and ultimately not enjoying your meal. You are probably not paying attention to how much you have eaten and how you are feeling during and after. You may be full but don’t even realise it!

You may find the following mindful eating tips helpful.

# Pause before you begin your meal Taking a moment to stop and appreciate your food and to be grateful for it before you take your first mouthful.

#Switch off try to eat your meals without distraction. Avoid sitting in front of the television or your laptop or using your phone during meal times (I am guilty of this). If you can take some time away from your desk at lunch time to sit outside and eat your lunch then I would encourage you to do so. Try to make your meal your main focus and then you can return to whatever you were doing with more clarity and energy.

#Pay attention Be mindful of each mouthful, note the textures, the flavours and the temperature. Preparing meals that are full of colourful vegetables, mixing raw with cooked and adding loads of healthy flavour through the use of spices makes for a more appetising and nutritious experience.

#Share the experience My favourite meal times are the ones I have shared with others. This is such an important aspect of life throughout history people have gathered to break bread together (fast forward to today-pass the quinoa) Food brings people together, it’s a talking point. And even if it doesn’t interest you that much it is still a vital ingredient to leading a healthy life and definitely worth some thought.

#Take a moment It’s not a race to the bottom of the bowl! Why not take some time to sit and appreciate the meal time experience, perhaps you are sharing it with family and friends or perhaps you are sitting somewhere with a nice view. Try to take in the more global experience, these moments are so important and contribute to your overall wellbeing.

#Bonus tip Allow time once you have finished the meal to sit and allow yourself to digest. You use up about 10% of your calories in the process of digesting, absorbing and metabolizing. The body does this most efficiently when it can focus on just this process.

Overall it is about taking your time and giving it your full attention. It plays a huge role in your energy levels and long-term health. It is worth the time. If you don’t have the time to linger over a well prepared meal than make nutrient dense choices and have smaller meals. Lean grass-fed meats (if you are into that kind of thing) protein rich grains and plenty of vegetables, oil and healthy fat rich foods like seeds and avocado’s. Choose a natural diet! It’s simple.

Feel at ease.
Ana Maria Conneely

@awaytolivewell

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