What do we mean by mindful eating habits?
If you’re trying to lose weight, this strategy can help you to eat less without feeling deprived.
Your goal: Having timely & frequent meals to make sure never fall under the category of being “too hungry” or “too full”
We’ve all had those days where we forget to eat due to being extremely busy.
Usually, what happens when those hunger thoughts set in?
You tell yourself, “I could eat a horse right now, that is how hungry I am!”
Then, once we are able to eat we stuff our face and end up in a food coma for the next 3 hours.
We can reduce the occurrence of this by implementing a small habit change that involves using a scoring system called the Appetite Awareness Worksheet.
This worksheet is very simple to use and if done consistently, it can get you into the habit of noticing how physically hungry or full you are.
We want you to look for physical cues such as:
- Growling stomach or sense of emptiness
- irritability, shakiness
The more you practice observing your physical hunger cues (and differentiating them from just wanting to eat), the better you will get at mindful eating habits.
And don’t worry. You don’t have to get it right away. For your first meal, you might simply pay attention to how your level of hunger changes before/after you eat and progress from there.
Whenever you eat until you’re uncomfortably full, forgive yourself and just keep trying. Over time, you’ll get the hang of it. And eventually, with enough practice, this will become more automatic.
The Appetite Awareness Chart
How to use this chart:
- Mark two boxes for each meal: how hungry you are when you start eating, and how hungry you are when you finish eating.
- Describe your physical and emotional sensations. For physical sensations, focus on how your stomach feels in particular.
As with anything, being consistent is going to be key. Even if you do overeat or wait too long to eat in between meals.
Remember, with mindful eating habits we want to be able to:
- Eat scheduled meals/snacks. Avoid getting too hungry.
- Resist urges to eat when not hungry. Stop at 80% full.
- Describe physical & emotional feelings around eating time.
- Be aware of non-physical eating cues.
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