Have you ever sat down to watch TV with a snack and thought “I’ll only have a couple,” and then realize you’ve eaten more than a couple servings? We have all experienced mindless eating behavior at one time or another. Overeating is an unhealthy habit, and it can have a large impact on blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. To change the habit of mindless eating, we can practice mindful eating.
Mindful eating means slowing down and paying more attention to what, why, and how frequently we eat. Practicing mindful eating allows us to listen to our physical and emotional responses to food. It can even help us recognize our eating habits, which is important when trying to lose weight or improve blood sugar levels.
Here are some tips to help practice mindful eating:
- Sit down at a table instead of standing or grazing
- Avoid common mealtime distractions such as using the phone or watching the television
- Notice the visual appearance and aroma of food
- Eat slowly, chew carefully and focus on the tastes and textures of each bite
- Ask yourself: Why am I eating? Am I hungry? Bored? Tired?
- Pay attention to how your body feels before, during and after you eat, particularly for feelings of hypo- or hyperglycemia
- Give yourself at least 15 minutes before reaching for another serving
Mindful eating is not a replacement for carbohydrate counting or reading food labels. However, it is a great tool to become more mindful about what we eat and how we feel about eating. Take some time to be more mindful today!