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Mindful Eating - How to tune in & actually follow your body's cues.

This morning I made myself a breakfast that I commonly enjoy: An egg, bowl of Greek yogurt with granola, blueberries, and a half of a banana. The meal was balanced nutritionally for my current goals and I was looking forward to every delicious bite.

After enjoying about half of my breakfast however I got a text from a client letting me know she had arrived for our scheduled training session. I'd forgotten we moved our regular time earlier today to accommodate her busy day. I dropped my spoon, and ran to my studio to let her in and get going with work.

When my client left, I sat back down to finish my breakfast but realized... I wasn't hungry at all. I didn't actually need to finish my breakfast. Without that brief distraction to my 'normal' I certainly would have eaten the rest of my food. And nutritionally... it was good food... but... did I NEED it? Or was I just operating out of habit? This is what I have eaten most days, so this must be what my body needs! Right?

🙋‍♀️ How many of us eat while:

  • Scrolling on our phones

  • Watching a show

  • Reading

  • Driving

  • Getting other things done between bites

The Risks of Overconsumption, Even with Nutritious Foods:

As a personal trainer and nutrition coach, I've encountered how easily our routines can overshadow our actual bodily needs. The frantic pace of life often leads to eating on autopilot, detached from our body's signals. Distractions during meals—rushing, multitasking, or eating while preoccupied—disrupt our connection to our hunger and fullness cues. And the fall out rarley leaves us feeling on top of our game!

The Results of Overeating (And some common stories we tell ourselves):

I know... we KNOW! But he's a reminder anyway!

  • Unnecessary Weight Gain: Overeating, even with healthy options, can lead to surplus calorie intake and subsequent weight gain. (🤔 , so maybe my weight gain wasn't from the one donut I ate, but rather because I mindlessly ate seconds of dinner without really stopping to see if I'm still hungry...)

  • Sluggishness and Low Energy Levels: Consuming excessive amounts, even of nutritious foods, may lead to feelings of lethargy and decreased vitality. ( 🤔 so maybe my energy isn't low because I need more vitamin supplaments but rather because I didn't need to try all the foods at that holiday party last night.)

  • Digestive Discomfort: Overindulgence can disrupt digestion, causing discomfort, bloating, and other gastrointestinal issues. (🤔 so maybe I'm not allergic to a specific food, I'm just eating too much of all the foods & my digestion is having a hard time keeping up!)

Take Back Control with Mindfuol Eating!

Mindful eating is savoring each bite, tuning into your body's signals, and truly experiencing your meal's flavors and textures. It's about connecting deeply with food to understand its impact on your body and mind.

Understanding our body's cues through mindful eating not only empowers us to make informed decisions but also safeguards against the downsides of overconsumption.

The Benefits of Mindful Eating:

  1. Empowered Choices: Mindful eating enables us to make informed decisions about what, when, and how much to eat, fostering healthier habits.

  2. Weight Management: Recognizing true hunger and fullness prevents overeating, aiding in weight management goals even with healthful foods.

  3. Energy Balance: Consuming excessive amounts, even of nutritious foods, can lead to weight gain, sluggishness, and other overeating-related issues.

  4. Digestive Harmony: Attuned eating habits support smoother digestion and nutrient absorption, contributing to overall gut health.

☑️ Practical Steps to Cultivate Mindful Eating

"Take care of your body now, or make time for illness later."

  1. Create a Dedicated Eating Space: Establish a calm, distraction-free zone for meals. Sit down, focus on the food, chew slowly, and savor each bite.

  2. Mid-Meal Assessment: Pause midway through eating. Ask yourself if you're still hungry or simply following a habit.

  3. Listen to Your Body: Tune into physical cues like stomach growling, feeling emptiness, or a decrease in energy levels. If you're uncertain if your body is needing food right now, try drinking a glass of water, taking a short walk, or engaging in a moment of relaxation to better understand your body's signals.

  4. Emotional Awareness: Before eating, assess if emotions are guiding your urge to eat. If they are, consider alternative ways to address those emotions, like going for a walk, practicing deep breathing, journaling, or talking to a friend.

Enjoy a Nourishing Relationship with Food

In our fast-paced lives, taking a moment to listen to our bodies amid the chaos can really change our eating habits. Honing in on our hunger and fullness cues allows us to make informed, nourishing choices. This shift cultivates a harmonious relationship between our bodies and the nourishment they genuinely require, guarding against the unintended consequences of overconsumption.

I hope you found this article both informative & helpful. Pratical solutions to common fitness and nutrition set backs are some of my favorite ways to help clients. If you have questions or need help strategizing your fitness or nutrtion goals, please reach out!


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