Ah Thanksgiving, how I do love this special time set aside to show gratitude for all that we have. Also, I thoroughly enjoy the devoted time to spend with my family and share a meal together. Unfortunately, there seems to be the misconception that the meal either has to involve either gluttony or deprivation. I’m here to inform you that this just isn’t so. Through the practice of mindful eating you can find the balance between excess and inadequate and perhaps even get more enjoyment out of eating.

Mindful eating involves using all senses to enjoy your food and respecting your internal cues for hunger and fullness. If this is something that is foreign to you it may take time to learn so be patient with yourself. Trust me, practicing is well worth it as it may improve food selection, lessen the likelihood of overeating, and enhance satisfaction in eating. Here is a quick introduction to get you started eating mindfully:

  • Nourish your body throughout the day by eating healthy and consistent meals as to avoid becoming overly hungry (it’s difficult to eat mindfully when you are ravenous)
  • Practice good self-care (once again, it’s difficult to eat mindfully if you are incredibly stressed)
  • Create a food environment that counters mindless eating (for example, don’t leave bowls of candy or sweets out)
  • Try this mindful eating activity:
    • Prior to eating, using a 1 to 10 scale (1 being uncomfortably full and 10 being very hungry), rate the hunger level of your body. Separate your hunger feeling from a craving or hunger related to your emotions or environment. Think about the rating you gave your physical hunger and fill your plate based on this.
    • During eating, use your senses (sight, touch, smell, and taste) to appreciate the food. Be sure to focus on your food. Pause in the middle of eating to re-check the level of your hunger. If your body still feels hungry then eat more. If you are comfortable then stop, even if food remains on your plate.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Your super fruit side kick,

Tara