Behavioral Hacks For Mindful Eating
By Sahil Bansal
Are you tired of the never-ending cycle of overeating and dieting? Food is frequently reduced to ingredient lists, calorie counts, or transient visuals on social media platforms today. Images of supposedly perfect bodies, diets that promise quick results, and the unrelenting pursuit of physical ideals surround us. However, if you’re prepared to adopt a different strategy that draws on the knowledge of our forebears, mindful eating is a route worth taking. This age-old method offers a unique path of transformation.
Mindful eating strengthens the relationship with food, realizing how it affects physical and mental health; it is a transformative journey that simply comes with practice.
Eat slowly and control your food portion: When we eat quickly, we end up eating more than required and don’t have control over food intake. On the other hand, chewing slowly allows the body to break down the food, thereby preventing digestive problems. This technique will help you to reduce your calorie intake by up to 10 percent.
Small plates big impact: Your brain takes 15-20 minutes to understand if your stomach is full. A bigger plate has more space to adjust a few extra dishes and you will end up eating more. Replacing it with a small plate can prevent you from overloading your plate and help you maintain a healthy weight.
Stay away from sugar: without realizing you are having an excess of it: A sugary pitfall is hidden in every meal, from morning breakfast to midday lassi. We must be cautious about ‘what we eat/drink’ because some foods might be high in sugar and low in nutrients, making the weight loss journey difficult. While a glass of lassi might be considered healthy and tempt you to take a few sips, a single serving can contain up to 30 gm of added sugar, which is more than the recommended daily intake.
Packaged fruit juices are not as healthy as they may appear Fruit juices might appear healthy but are a hidden source of sugar and artificial sweeteners. A single cup of ready-made/ packaged fruit juice can contain up to 20 gm of sugar, nearly reaching the daily intake limit. Some individuals might also consider cereals as a convenient breakfast, but they can also be a sugary trap. One bowl of breakfast cereal can contain as much as 12 gm of sugar.
Excess Sodium can also make you fat and cause multiple health issues: Packaged snacks offer convenience but at a nutritional cost. A small packet of chips can contain up to 300-400 mg of sodium. An individual is recommended to limit the intake of sodium up to 1500 mg per day, as per guidelines issued by the American College of Cardiology and physicians worldwide.
Many packaged or restaurant soups contain up to 800 mg of sodium per serving. Talking about instant noodles, which might be your go-to instant meal, just one pack could cover up to 70 percent of an individual’s daily sodium needs. Sodium traps threaten your health; therefore, go for unprocessed meals that promote wholesome living.
Consume more seasonal grains: With superior taste, cost savings, and environment-friendliness, seasonal produce shines brightly. By incorporating fresh flavors, your plate becomes a reflection of the changing seasons, promoting wellness within.
Don’t cook food on high flame: Treat your food with care. To retain healthy nutrients, avoid high flames. Selecting mellow cooking methods will help in retaining the nutrients in food and improve overall well-being.
Plate over bag: Eating from a plate is always better than eating from a packet/bag when enjoying chips, popcorn, or nachos. When eating from a bag, we tend to overeat as we do not have a visual cue of food intake. Whereas plate usage allows us to monitor consumption and indicate when to slow down.
Avoid fad diets for long-term results: When on a weight-loss journey, long-term permanent results should always be your goal. Fad diets have their own set of restrictions and can lead to nutrient deficiencies. These diets not only hamper the physical but also the mental health of an individual. Focus on changing your dietary patterns and make habit transformations to achieve long-term results in your weight loss journey.
Practice label reading: Reading food labels holds the key to making informed food selections. Understand the amount of sugar, fat, and other components in food and it can hold immense power in shaping your journey towards mindful eating. Even if labeled “sugar-free,” substantial amounts of fat and other harmful ingredients may be present. It is essential to curb your cravings and choose natural foods over processed ones.–