Mindful Eating: Nutrition Tips with JP
June 3, 2022
Mindful eating is very accessible and straightforward approach to improving your nutrition skills without worrying about what specific food you need to eat or avoid. This article will help you discover two foundation skills that will eventually become lifelong habits.
EAT SLOWLY + EAT TO 80% FULL
This approach is all about reframing how we approach meals and finding time to slow down so that we can get ahead.
Eating slowly and to 80% full can help:
- Weight management
- Healthy Relationship with Food
Eating slowly is an "extrinsic" way to modify your meal. Adhering to a 20-30 minute time window can help you manage how much energy you take in without depriving yourself. Your goal determines how much time to spend.
For example, speeding up your feeding time can help you intentionally gain weight. This tactic is for clients looking to add size in a fixed amount of time and with high energy demand. Ideally, those clients have mastered basic level 1 skills, with eating slowly being one of them. Regardless of how skilled you are, it's recommended to cycle back to eating slowly.
Eating to 80% full is an "intrinsic" way of modifying your meal. Listening to your body cues has profound physiological benefits since it directly relates to the hormones related to digestion.
If you want a detailed list of this chain reaction and how you can manipulate this, check out these articles by Precision Nutrition's Ryan Andrews, MS, MA, RD, RYT, CSCS:
Putting it into practice
The next step is to build an environment that reinforces this process. Remember, as with any new habit it's best to keep it simple and master the basics.
Beginner: eat slowly within a 20-30 minute time frame and see how that feels.
Intermediate: eat slowly within 20-30 minutes and limit your distractions.
Advanced: eat slowly within 20-30 minutes with no distractions and complete focus on the meal before you.
Quality coaching encourages clients to apply this concept first to "most meals." Depending on the confidence level, you can shrink the task down small enough to where you feel the most successful. For example, if “most meals” can’t be done, you can decide to only focus on meals you eat at home since you feel the most at peace and in control. Build on the bright spots in your day first to help you build confidence and control.
Small recurring behaviors go a long way to help you refine your skills. Eating slowly can happen anywhere and anytime and can remind you that you’re always in control.
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