Create A Mindful Kitchen
When hungry, we reach for what is around us. The brain lacks patience (and the stomach, too!). If you see a bag of chips around you when you are hungry -- you will devour that packet of fried snacks. If you are on the path to mindfulness, create the space and conviction to hold that thought and not act on it.
A report by Kansas State University claims, “Only 21 percent of adults consume the recommended amounts of fruits a day.” How do we increase that? By keeping fruits handy. Imagine walking into the kitchen starving; all you see is healthy fruits and nuts. You will inevitably reach for the more nutritious option.
Additionally, having a stocked and clear kitchen will encourage you to spend more time and consider better alternatives. If you are attempting to cut back on sugar, do not bring desserts into the house. Here is another interesting observation about mindful kitchens -- do not shop when you’re hungry.
This characteristic is a physiological trigger called “moral licensing.” To give you an example, if you notice a cop watching you, you tend to behave more cautiously than usual. You might not be committing a crime, but your brain triggers a response. In the same way, a hungry mind will reach for things at the store you do not require.
“Look at me!” - Your Plate.
Ever wonder why an extra-large tub of movie-time popcorn can vanish before the halfway mark of the film? It’s because your eyes are glued to the screen. In contrast, your hand makes the circuit between your mouth and the tub. This scene is a perfect example of mindless eating.
Eating your food in front of the television or your phone screen has become the norm of today. Streaming a show or scrolling through the endless pages of social media -- they are all distractions from your meal.
The next time you sit for a meal, grab an outdoor table and enjoy your meal to the sounds of nature. Look at your food and notice what you eat. It’s also the reason why plates at a Michelin Star restaurant come decorated and attractive. Eating is about indulging all of your five senses.
What Is The Goal?
If you are considering the path of mindful eating, what is it that you want to get out of this practice?
A goal in your mind can change it all. Are you looking to lose weight? Build a healthier lifestyle? Find joy in food? Or simply looking to improve your habits? Whatever be the reason, tell yourself why you are doing this.
We all love to dive into a gallon-large tub of ice cream. But if your goal is to cut back on sugar, you will find yourself averse to such an indulgence. These benchmarks are critical if your eating habits are deteriorating your health.
Don’t be hard on yourself!
Set a test period. Inculcate these changes at a slow pace and monitor your progress. You do not need to become the epitome of mindful eating from the get-go. Start with actionable changes and make sturdy progress.