Do you ever find yourself in the middle or at the end of the day realizing you aren’t really sure what you ate throughout the day?
Are you someone that eats on the go or while you’re doing other things? If you’re not sure what category you fit into exactly, go take the eating style quiz to help you discover exactly how you eat.
The truth is, we live in a busy world.
We are constantly pulled in different directions all day long.
And I’m guessing you probably struggle to actually sit down and eat any meal mindfully.
But, when we eat mindfully, we are much more in control over what and how much we actually eat. I’m guessing you’d probably like to get a better handle on that?
Today, we’re going to cover the 5 steps to eating more mindfully no matter what you have on your plate (see what I did there?).
5 STEPS TO MINDFUL EATING FOR EVERY DAY
STEP 1: PLAN AHEAD
The first step is to always plan ahead.
Now I know you’re busy, so I’m not suggesting you go crazy and plan everything in life, but rather just a few things.
If you know it’s going to be a busy day, make sure you have some snacks available that you can grab and go. Try some trail mix, dried fruit, protein bars, or anything else that can rest easily in your car, on your desk, or in your purse. This will make all the difference when you’re out and about and can feel good about the choices you’re making.
This also helps you stay mindful as you know exactly what you’re putting in your mouth.
STEP 2: CHECK IN WITH YOURSELF
Step #2 is to check in with yourself. Before you eat anything, ask yourself one question:
“Where am I at?”
Where are you at with hunger? Are you starving, do you need a meal? Or do you just need a little snack to get you by.
All it takes is 3 seconds to check in with your hunger levels. In fact, if you need a little refresher course on understanding and recognizing your hunger and fullness levels, head on over and read about it in the 2nd post of the mindful eating series.
STEP 3: TAKE 5
The next step is to take 5 minutes. Just 5 minutes. I know you can do it.
Stop doing whatever you are doing and focus on your food for 5 minutes.
This doesn’t mean you have to finish it, but just take 5 minutes to pay attention to your food and only your food.
In fact, if you want, try out the mindful eating meditation during one of your take 5 moments as it will help you be mindful with your eating every day.
Set a timer and when 5 minutes are up, ask yourself one more time: “Where am I at?”
All you need to do is take note of where you’re at. You don’t need to do anything else about it, just take note of it. As you practice, you will start to learn how to recognize when you are full and about how much food will satisfy you.
STEP 4: KNOW YOUR LEVELS
Do you even know when you’re hungry or full anymore, or do you tend to suppress your feelings of hunger because you’re too busy to stop?
If this describes you, I highly recommend getting in touch with your hunger levels. Read the #2 post in the mindful eating series - know your hunger levels.
If you don’t know exactly what hunger and fullness feel like to you, just start to pay attention.
When you eat lunch, do you feel full or satisfied after? How do you feel after you eat a snack?
What about hunger? Do you find yourself hungry for snacks throughout the day or full meals? Do you suppress hunger so much during the day that you’re ravenous for dinner. This may suggest you need to eat more throughout the day.
It’s important to get in tune with your levels. Write them down. Practice them. Soon enough, you will learn how to know when to eat, how much to eat, and when to stop.
STEP 5: STOP
The last step is to simply just stop. That’s it.
Stick to eating meals and snacks and stop grazing on bits and pieces of food here and there.
If you’ve planned ahead, you always have a little snack. When you eat a meal, eat it and then stop until you’re ready for another snack.
Just remind yourself to stop. Stop when you start to feel full. Stop when you’ve had enough.
There you have it! The 5 steps to eating mindfully even when you’re busy.
Now, with all good things, this might take some practice. But, with consistency, you will be able to pay more attention to the food that goes into your body and better know when to eat, how to eat, and what to eat.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this 4 week mindful eating series and have made some great breakthroughs in your eating habits.
If you want to read any of the other posts in the series, here are the links!
Mindful Eating Series #1: Discover your eating style
Mindful Eating Series #2: Know when to eat and how to stop
Mindful Eating Series #3: Emotional eating 101: The good, the bad, the ugly
Mindful Eating Series #4: Eat mindfully every day