How to Feel Fuller and Add Joy to Your Meals

By Farah Younes, Registered Clinical Dietitian

The ability to recognise when you’re hungry or full is controlled by your brain. However, unhelpful habits such as eating too quickly or while distracted makes it more difficult for your brain to notice these signals. This is where mindful eating comes in.

Being fully present in the moment when you’re eating, without distractions, can improve your eating experience, decrease hunger, help you feel fuller, and promote healthy eating habits. Some studies suggest that mindful eating can also help support emotional eating and binge eating, promoting a healthier relationship with food.

How can you eat more mindfully?

Mindful eating isn’t about restricting yourself, it is about enjoying and appreciating food. Start with these steps to practice eating more mindfully:

1. Slow down when eating

Chew your food well and take time to pause while you’re eating. This can allow your body to recognise when it is full.

2. Avoid distractions

Eat intentionally. Put away other distractions and pay attention to your food. Avoid eating while you’re on your laptop, phone, reading or watching TV so that you can enjoy your food in the moment.

3. Utilise your senses to enjoy each mouthful

Focus on the smell, taste, texture, shape and colour of foods to savour each bite. This will help you enjoy your eating experience.

4. Listen to your body

Listen to your body to become aware of physical hunger and satiety cues and let these guide your decisions to begin and end eating.

5. Reflect on your thoughts and feelings

Recognise when you are eating for reasons other than physical hunger. Is it emotional? Or is it in response to external cues such as such as social settings, routine or time of day? After this internal review, tune into your food preferences at the present moment.

Mindful eating isn’t about restricting yourself, it is about enjoying and appreciating food

Eating mindfully is a way to enjoy what you’re eating while being attuned with your body and acknowledging your thoughts and feelings. I invite you to take a step forward and start experimenting with this today. Finally, keep in mind that mindful eating works best when it’s paired with a healthy diet and regular physical activity.


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