Apply strategies to overcome the mealtime challenges. Jean Tong, Nutritionist with Halley Medical Aesthetics, offers five mindful eating tips.
“You are what you eat” is a familiar phrase for many people. Implying the notion that food plays a major role in our well-being and our physique. It also suggests that we be mindful of what we consume. There are many recommended guidelines when it comes to eating right but adhering to them is a real challenge. But like most things in life, there are strategies you can apply to overcome the mealtime challenge, and Jean Tong, Nutritionist with Halley Medical Aesthetics offers five mindful eating tips here.
Mindful Eating Tip #1: Use a smaller plate
Most of our social gatherings take place over food. Whether we are meeting up with friends, colleagues or relatives over the weekend, we usually meet at a restaurant, cafe or we would have a family member cook up a feast. Food plays such an important role in our social life that if you’re trying to be mindful of what you eat, it can be quite a challenge.
We recommend that during social gatherings where you know a big meal will be served, one tip would be to consume your food in small portions, and you achieve this by using smaller plates. Research shows that we tend to eat 81% more when presented with a large amount of food. By using a smaller plate, you will have less food on your plate and hence eat less.
Mindful Eating Tip #2: Chew slower
You can also exercise portion control by simply chewing your food slowly. It takes about 20 minutes for the brain to register that you are full. According to researchers, another bonus of chewing slowly is that people who do tend to eat 201 kcal less a day!
Mindful Eating Tip #3: Eat your favourite foods but eat in moderation
Going on a weight loss journey doesn’t mean you have to be miserable by avoiding all the food that you love. If faced with a great variety of food like at a buffet, choose one or a few of your favourite food to eat instead of eating everything offered to you. The general rule of thumb for weight maintenance is for calories intake from food and beverage to be in balance with calories used up by our bodily needs and physical activities. So yes, go ahead and have a bowl of carbonara pasta so long as you eat within your body’s calorie count for the day and that you expend just as much calorie through exercise.
Mindful Eating Tip #4: Have smaller but more frequent meals
This is part of portion control. It is always better to have small frequent meals to prevent indigestion. Big meals stretch your stomach and increase upward pressure where the oesophagus meets the stomach, leading to indigestion and gastric reflux.
Mindful Eating Tip #5: Stop eating when you are three-quarter full
Take your time to enjoy the meal. Slow down your eating pace to give your stomach enough time to tell you that you are feeling full. Stop eating when you feel three-quarter full. This helps to make sure that you do not eat too much and hence put on too much weight!
Being mindful of what you put into your body is a huge step in ensuring that you stay fit, healthy, and look good.