Becca here at Modavate Coaching to help you learn what mindful eating is all about and how it can help you keep your weight down.
But first, why am I talking about eating mindfully anyway?
In the modern world, we eat for convenience rather than for nutrition. We eat for instant gratification rather than long-term health benefits.
Can you imagine learning a new way of slow eating in which you actually get to experience the tastes and textures of your food rather than wolfing it down in a hurry or snacking on the go?
I can help you to learn to slow down and eat mindfully! I can help you to see the food you eat as medicine that not only nourishes your whole system but also tastes delicious!
If you’d rather listen than read, the Facebook live recording is located at the bottom of this post.
So this week I’ll be covering mindful eating and how to eat.
Specifically, we’re going to look at how you eat sets the stage for how your body digests and absorbs what you eat. You really can transform your life if you can transform how you eat – even if you don’t change what you eat!
But how can that be true?
I’m sure you’re like “what!? That can’t be true!” It’s true because you already know it’s 50% of the equation for great health.
Remember last week when I said eating healthy food and taking healthy actions are only half the equation to live healthfully??
Related article: What to do when you’re stressed to the max….
Keep this in mind:
It’s scientifically impossible for the body to release weight or health when it’s under a stress response.
I repeat: it’s scientifically impossible for the body to release weight or health when it’s under a stress response.
This is why I don’t tell my clients what to eat.
Some of them want me to, they’re like, “Just tell me what to eat! Just tell me what to eat, and I’ll lose 10 pounds!”
My response to that is, “Sure, I can tell you what to eat, but unfortunately you won’t lose any weight, and I wouldn’t be the coach you expect me to be if I told you that you would. Here’s why…”
Why do you think this is such a hard thing for people?
Because it requires habit change!
Moving from a constant stress response to relaxation requires serious habit change. Often times this is scarier for most people than giving up sugar, or giving up caffeine, or cutting back on processed foods.
This is where mindful eating comes into play.
So what is mindful eating?
Mindful eating means taking the time to honor your food by choosing high quality, organic food, preparing it with care and eating it slowly and mindfully using your five senses to really enjoy it.
It means allocating quiet time to prepare and enjoy eating your meal without rushing or multitasking at the same time.
Mindful eating is a way of saying to yourself: “I respect my body enough to be mindful of what I put into it and of the way I eat.”
Think of this type of eating as a meditation. It means choosing to be present with your food and the way you eat it.
My clients find that eating mindfully helps to:
- Sense intuitively when you are full
- Gain way more satisfaction from eating
- Develop a healthy relationship with food
- See food as medicine
- Discover new tastes and textures
- Improve digestion (less gas and bloating)
- Regulate bowel movement
- Discover food sensitivities
- Create healthy habits that enliven you
How will I know if it’s time for me to learn to eat mindfully?
Glad you asked!
It’s time for you to practice mindful eating if you answer “YES” to any of these questions:
- You get bloated after eating
- You scoff down your food like there is no tomorrow
- You eat just to feel full not to enjoy the tastes
- You eat to numb out
- You want to learn to enjoy healthy food
- You feel bloated easily
- You gain weight easily
- You crave sugar or starchy foods
- You have difficulty focusing or foggy brain
- You feel lethargic after eating
- You have allergies or hay fever
- You feel addicted to eating foods that aren’t healthy for you, but you can’t stop
- You tend to gain weight easily, especially in your belly
- You have extra pounds that won’t come off with diet and exercise
So here’s my tip for the week, it’s called, “The Twenty Minute Meal.”
This tip is where it’s at. This is the one that I’ve found triggers everything else to fall into place; if you can get this down, you will gain so much insight about you and your body.
This takes very little time, twenty minutes max, doesn’t cost a penny, it doesn’t require willpower or motivation, you don’t have to change anything you eat, and it helps you lose weight, gain energy, resolve digestive issues, and heal fatigue and more.
Holy crap right?
I’m going to put a link to this handout in the comments.
But first, I’m going to share the secret of the 20-minute meal with you.
Then, I’m going to show you how to start using it right away in your day to day life, and then I’ll show you why it works.
Here’s how it works:
You eat anything you want. No joke. For those of you panicking like, “What!?” You eat anything you want!?”, and you may not believe me, but you’ve probably tried every other diet out there, so what do you have to lose?
Now that you know what to eat in this exercise let’s looks at the real magic in this method, which is how you eat.
This may be a surprise to you, and I can’t stress it enough, but when it comes to weight loss, how you eat is just as important if not more so than what you eat.
Here’s how to do the 20-minute meal.
Starting with your next meal follow these simple steps:
- Check the clock. Before your next meal check the clock and see, what time is it? I have to write it down because I forget, so write it down.
Eat your meal at the pace your usually would, don’t do anything different.
Check the clock at the end of your meal.
Jot down how much time the entire meal took in the 20-minute meal journal.
So again, the first step, you’re not doing anything differently other than check the clock at the end of the meal, and then writing down how much time it took in the 20-minute meal journal.
And FYI – the 20-minute meal journal is NOT a food journal. It’s not about being good, bad, or judging what you’re eating. It’s about discovering if you’re taking enough time during your meals for your stomach to tell you what the right amount of food is for your body.
If you’re worried about how fast you may eat, the first time I did this my meal lasted less than 5 minutes! So there’s no judgment here at all. This is about curiosity.
Related article: How Curiosity Can Help You Eat Healthier & Lose Weight
- At your next meal, you’re going to check the clock again, and you’re going to increase your time by five minutes.
So if your first meal took you three minutes, you’ll increase by five minutes, so that means you’re going to try for a time of an eight-minute meal. I like to set a timer, so I’m not staring at the clock the whole time, that’d defeat the purpose of this exercise 😉
Then document in the journal, how long the meal was and ask yourself, “when did I start to feel full, what was my mood, and were there any “Aha!” moments I had?”
When I first did this, I thought, “I’m going to run out of food, there won’t be enough food! There won’t be enough time to eat all this!” Lots of emotions can come up, that’s what the 20-minute meal journal is for, to write them down.
- Keep repeating step two with each meal. So, you just keep adding on five minutes to your mealtime until meals last at least 20 minutes.
Again, it’s really easy to just set a timer on your phone, or computer, or something so you don’t have to watch the clock the whole time, but you know, “okay, I’ve got 20 minutes.” And then you’re going to document each meal and each day in the 20-minute meal journal.The thing that’s really important is you note in the journal during the 20-minute meal what the time between when you feel satisfied, and when you tip over into full is?There’s that turning point where you’re like, “oh, I feel really good right now!” And then you take a couple more bites, and you’re like, “too much.” So what time did that happen? Was it around 10 minutes in? 11? 12? 13?You want to be sure to note that in the journal becauseit’s going to start to teach you when you’re satisfied and complete with your meal.You’re also going to see at this time, and it’ll surprise you, that you can actually eat a meal, a full meal, you probably won’t eat all of it. You’ll have a meal in front of you and 13 minutes in you’ll be like, “eh, I’m done with this.” And have half a plate still there. But you won’t feel deprived!!
You don’t feel like you’re missing out, you feel great! It takes some time getting used to, like, “ wait a minute, I’m not having pain or angst in connection with a meal? That’s odd.”
- The final step of this is making each meal for the next seven days a 20-minute meal. Another thing to note in the journal is if you ever feel uncomfortably full, when do you reach that point?
If you’re one of those people, who think you can’t take a lunch break. You can!! You can stay at your desk or work site but put the phone on silent, shut the monitor off and unplug and enjoy your meal.
This is also challenging for people who know this stuff, trainers, coaches, doctors, all of us. You know why? Because knowledge doesn’t equal behavior change. I knew this stuff and wasn’t doing it. I had to get a coach and be reminded.
I challenge you to try this for seven days! Seven days commit to learning something new about yourself. Maybe 20 minutes is a stretch. Even if you can’t get to a 20-minute meal, even if you can only take 5 minutes, that’s ok. Set a timer for 5 minutes, turn off the distractions and just let it be mealtime. Dedicate it.
There are more instructions on the 20-minute meal handout, and if you have questions about it, you can ask here in the comments or send me a personal message.
What do I do now?
In my health coaching practice, I help clients understand why they eat in a rush and forget to relax during their meal. Then I lead them through a step-by-step process to learn how to eat mindfully and to learn what to eat for their unique body type.
If you answered “YES” to any of the symptoms above OR If you want to learn how you to step back and slow down, click here now to schedule a time to talk with me about how you can learn to eat mindfully.
I’ll help you understand what’s blocking you from eating mindfully and I’ll show you how to get started.
Also, be sure to download your free 20-minute Meal Journal below!!!
To your health!