Eating vegetables and cutting back on sugar is part of mindful eating, but there is more to what is on your plate than you think.
A big step towards clean eating isn’t about eating a portion of special food, but it’s more about knowing when you need to eat, thinking twice about what you eat and being in the moment when you eat.
To encourage clean eating, you need to like your food and enjoy the sensations of eating it. You need to be mindful, improve habits, listen to your conscious and avoid being perfect.
1. Focus on Becoming Mindful
Practicing mindful eating is not new, but it’s becoming more popular as a way to eat clean and become healthy. Mindful eating is paying attention to what you eat as you eat it. It makes you use all your senses to make choices in the food you eat that provide you with the mineral and vitamins you need.
When it comes down to it, mindful eating is all about the relationship with your food and these following tips will put you in the right path to clean eating.
• Be Thankful
More than just saying a quick prayer, take time to really be thankful. Many people give thanks for their meals or at least know of others who do. You may have done it yourself or not. Take a few minutes to think about the effort it took to grow the food, ship them to you, and the time it took you to prepare it.
• Sit Down
Respect your meal time and sit down at the dinner table. If you’re rushing your food, your mind may rush, and your body won’t be able to keep up.
• Utensils Down
Remember you’re thinking about every bite, so when you put food into your mouth, put your knife and fork down. This allows you to chew your food more thoroughly, which makes it easier for digestion.
These little tips can get you started on being mindful of what you eat.
2. Improve Daily Habits
Eating healthy can improve your lifestyle dramatically. You’ll have access to the right foods that give you all the vitamins and minerals you need. However, there are habits or challenges that you can change to make clean eating go smoother for you.
• Drink Green Tea
It was mentioned that green tea provides a range of health benefits, but it’s also a habit you can get started with right away. Rather than drink your normal hot beverage first thing in the morning, swap it out with green tea for a more relaxed herbal experience.
• Eat Breakfast
Everyone says that the 16/8 intermittent fasting protocol is great, but if you eat clean whole foods for breakfast, like whole grain oats or eggs, then your day will run smoothly.
While you must listen to your body, you can also kick start your metabolism. If you find you are getting hungry by 11 am, then its best to eat a small breakfast.
• Add More Green
Are you eating steak and fries for dinner? Enjoy the steak but get rid of the fries and replace it with a nice leafy salad. Don’t top the salad up with any sauces thou as the last you want to do is increase calories.
• Cook at home
Getting home late and feeling hungry is not a good combination especially when it’s so easy just to order takeout. It’s suggested that you take time out to prepare your meals ahead of time, so when you do get home, they’re ready to go.
3. Be Conscious
Are you eating for the sake of it, or are you eating because your body needs to be fueled?
Listening to what your body wants first will be a healthier option than eating mindlessly.
Eating based on emotions can be unhealthy, and it will be different for each person. It could be due to stress, loneliness or simply outright boredom. By listening to your body, you’ll be in better control and it will be less often that your emotions will get the better of you.
A good way to listen to your body is to start a journal and each time you notice you’re getting hungry, note down exactly what is going on and how you feel. After two weeks, going back on your previous notes, you’ll begin to notice a pattern of when you’re getting hungry. Noticing these patterns soon will allow you to stop whatever it is that’s causing you to eat out of emotion.
4. Avoid the Diet Mindset
Dieting directly doesn’t work. Most people that go on a diet will put the weight back on. The word diet seduces you by promising to make you slim. Here is how “trying to get slim” really works, you try a diet, fail and move on.
You’re then told to eat raw meat, turn your body into a carnivore or try the keto diet and so on. You don’t need to do any of that; you just need to develop the right behavior about mood and develop the right mindset.
You can start changing your mindset with the tips below:
• Don’t look at food as good or bad
It’s time to think of healthy food as simple foods you buy every day. Eating a little ice-cream shouldn’t be looked at making you overweight and unhealthy, just don’t overeat it.
If you start to eliminate foods straight away, it’ll bring on binge eating, and that is the last thing you want to do.
• Make Your Own Eating Pattern
The media, the internet, and even social media are full of “how to eat” guides which you just do not need. Find a pattern that is right for you and stick to it. If you find that you do need help with planning your meals, seeing a nutritionist is highly advisable.
Thinking that clean eating is a diet is true in a way but also the wrong way to think. Having the right mindset will give you more chance of sticking with clean eating in the foreseeable future.
Being human means you won’t be perfect, if that is your goal, expect to be a slave to yourself or what you eat. Enjoy the foods you want to enjoy but within moderation.