6. Eat One Meal a Day Mindfully
It is easy to get caught in the rat race of rushing from one thing to the next. This is especially true for those with a family or hectic job and schedule such as those of a flight crew. With early shows and late nights it is hard to take a step back, slow down and be present. This can take a toll on your health emotionally, mentally and physically.
This week we challenge you to eat just one meal a day mindfully. What does that mean? It means putting other tasks aside during this meal…no phones, Facebook, computer scanning, TV or any other distractions. It mean focusing on the food you are eating by chewing your food at least 10-15 times before swallowing (25 is even better) while paying attention to the flavors, textures and smells. It means showing up and actually being present for this brief period of time during the day. You can even do this as a family by taking the time to be together without distractions.
By practicing mindful eating you allow your body the space and time to register what is going on, such as picking up on cues that indicate being full or satisfied. You will also enjoy food more than ever before and most likely with a smaller quantity. There is evidence to support that mindful eating can reduce portion sizes and aid in weight loss (because of better food choices and reduced portions). This will be a challenge for many, no doubt….We still struggle with this as well, but, it is well worth it. Don’t expect perfection, but notice when you catch yourself reaching for that magazine or newspaper. That is half the battle…catching yourself in the mindless patterns.
You can do this for any meal of the day but we suggest breakfast. As you know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so if you do not currently eat breakfast this is a good opportunity to start. If you already are in the habit of eating breakfast it is a great way to set the day off on a good note. If your mind does wander try to keep it on a positive frequency and simply bring it back to the present and do not beat yourself up over it or think of it as a failure. This is a process and one that is never static or perfect. Take this as an opportunity to learn a little more about yourself and the beginning of a new, healthy, relationship with food. So remember:
- Focus on mindful eating for one meal a day, ideally breakfast
- Chew your food 15-25 times before swallowing
- Be kind to yourself and simply bring yourself back to the present when your mind wanders. Practice catching your mindless patterns
- Keep your energy positive even if it is only for this brief part of the day