A while ago I started to write about mindful eating, with Christmas on the way there is never a more an important time to go into this further, why? Christmas is a stressful time for all of us, if you're not stressed with Christmas please tell me how?! Christmas is also a time for celebration, and nearly all of us celebrate with food.
Ever wondered why its so difficult to get rid of the fat around your belly? Eating while stressed could play a huge part as while your stressing out, your body is in flight or flight mode. This means oxygen and blood are being pumped to other vital organs like your brain, arms and legs to get ready for 'flight' i.e. running away from what is causing you stress. This leaves your stomach with less help to digest your food, hence it is turned to fat around your stomach. How can I stop this! I hear you cry... there is a way - mindful eating.
It all starts with you making sure that you check in with yourself BEFORE you eat and ask 'Am I stressed right now?' If you are I have a wonderful breathing exercise that I will include in my next blog that will work to relax you in around two minutes, trust me it really does work!
Once you are in that relaxed state make sure you can eat with little distraction, no TV and no phone, maybe some music in the background. Sit and chew each mouthful, did you know the average person chews a mouthful of food three times - we may as well open our stomachs and say insert food here! So I challenge you, start with chewing each mouthful 20 times AND put down your knife and fork a few times each meal to take deep slow breaths. The aim is to get your meals to last at least twenty minutes so your brain has time to catch up to your stomach to indicate when you're full AND so the enzymes in your mouth can start breaking down you food so its easier to extract the good stuff and digest each mouthful. I can guarantee that your food will start to taste better the more you chew.
So the longer you take to eat a meal, the less you will eat in the long run as your mind will let you know your full so you can stop eating and move away from the table.
If you have trouble stopping eating when you're full, I'll let you into a few tips on my next blog so before Christmas you'll have a good plan without the need for any diet.