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Fitness Corner

By Kimberly Williams

Mindful Eating is a term that has been tossed around lately, but what does it actually mean? The term mindfulness is defined in the dictionary as:

1. the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.

2. a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

When translating that to mindful eating, the definition for the phrase translates to

1. being aware of what you put into your body, how it tastes, and how it makes you feel.

To practice mindful eating over the holidays, here are a few goals for you to set to help build awareness while eating:

• Don’t dine in front of the TV. The mindful eating technique is lost when you are eating in front of a TV because your mind is not concentrating on what or how much food you are ingesting and how that food makes you feel.

• Be aware of when your body sends fullness cues. If you are distracting your mind externally with something while you eat, you become unaware of the body’s signals that tell you when to stop. Because of this, you end up feeling more of an “uncomfortable fullness” rather than just feeling nourished and satisfied.

• Make sure you’re tasting the food. This may sound silly, but this is actually going to help prevent overeating. When you focus on taste of foods, you become more satisfied eating a smaller amount of food.

• Enjoy the moment. Families that eat together around a table are statistically more likely be healthier overall than those who do not. So, while you are eating, eat with people whose company you enjoy. When you are taking the time to eat slowly and converse, you are more capable to recognize fullness cues and to eat less than you would otherwise.

So let’s do our overstimulated minds and bodies a favor and focus on our food when it is in front of us. You will be surprised about much this technique can change your life and keep you away from those holiday pounds that creep up this time of year.

Kimberly Williams is a Registered Dietician and Personal Trainer at Feed Your Soul Fitness – FeedYourSoulFitness.com.