Do you struggle with non-hungry eating? Perhaps it’s the after dinner snacking, the 4pm sweet treat or the chocolate bowl in the office. This type of eating is often the cause of poor weight loss, when you’re doing everything else right. The gastric band is a fantastic tool to help reduce meal portions and physical hunger but it doesn’t directly help to tackle non-hungry eating. The single best way to take control of your non-hungry eating for good, is to practice mindful eating everyday. Here are 10 simple ways you can become a more mindful eater and tackle non-hungry eating once and for all.
Focus all your attention on eating rather than trying to multitask at meal times. You only eat for 20 minutes 3 times per day – everything else can wait until you have finished your meal!
Connect with the feelings of hunger and fullness by using a satiety scale. Rank your hunger/fullness on a scale of 1-10 (1 is starving and 10 is stuffed full) before, during and after meals. You should aim to be around a 3 before meals and a 5 after meals, to avoid overeating.
Take time out of your busy day to sit down to eat each of your meals rather than eating on the run.
Aim for 1 mouthful every 20 seconds and 20 minutes to finish each meal.
Use a teaspoon to help slow your speed of eating and promote tasting and savouring
Take the time to taste and savour every mouthful. The more you taste the less you need to eat to feel satisfied and the more mindful you will be while eating.
Picture your digestive system and track each mouthful as it passes down the oesophagus, through the band and into your stomach
Acknowledge the easy access we have to food in this country and how lucky we are to never be forced to go hungry. It is helpful to never take for granted the availability of food in Australia.
Think about the number of people and processes the product has passed by/through to end up in your cupboard or fridge. For example with milk, acknowledge the cow, the farmer, the pasteurisation and packaging as well as distribution to the supermarkets via transport systems. As you can imagine, a lot of work goes into getting produce onto the supermarket shelves everyday.
A mindful eating food diary can be a helpful tool to ensure you are eating mindfully everyday as you can track and log your progress at each meal each day.