As our daily lives become increasingly hectic, it’s no wonder that nutrition and mindful eating patterns are constantly placed on the back burner. Trying to juggle schedules is a challenge, one that finds us eating while we work, while we watch TV and while we drive. Breaking these habits doesn’t take a lot of time, however, you need to be fully committed to changing the way you approach meal/snack time.

The following tips from Jenny Conviser, Psy.D., co-owner of Insight Psychological Centers and a leading expert in the treatment of eating disorders, will help you regain control of your eating habits.

• Set aside time to eat. Taking an actual lunch break—even if it’s only 15 minutes—is a crucial step in establishing mindful eating patterns. In fact, research suggests that our brains don’t fully register what we eat outside of time we’ve set aside for eating.

• Commit to sit. Looking to break the habit of mindlessly munching while standing in front of the refrigerator? The best way to go about this is to commit to eating only while sitting down.

• Check in with yourself. Before any meal or snack, ask yourself if you’re really hungry, and only eat if the answer is ‘yes.’ Before you leave the house in the morning, prepare a few healthy snacks to munch on as you get hungry throughout the day.

• Put your senses to work. Take advantage of all your senses the next time you sit down to eat. Be sure to pay attention to the shape, color and size of what you’re eating. Take the time to inhale the aroma of the food and when you take a bite, pay attention to how the texture feels on your tongue.

• Take a break. Once you’re halfway through your meal, take a break and determine whether you’re still hungry. If you are, continue eating, and check in again after a few more bites.

Source: Insight Psychological Centers

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