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Nutrition 101: Practice Mindful Eating

October 10, 2018

October is the kick-off month for the holiday season. With Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas all just right around the corner, what better time to begin practicing balance and mindful eating! Eating healthy does not mean avoid eating favorite foods. Enjoy them in moderation. It is all about being more mindful of what you eat!

Mindful eating is being aware of our body’s natural hunger cues and providing it with the nutrients it needs to be healthy. When you pay attention to what you are eating, you can make small changes that make a big difference to your health!

Here are some tips towards a more mindful approach to eating:

Control portions: Don’t deprive yourself of your favorite foods, just eat smaller portions

Listen to body cues: Just because food is available, does not mean that you should eat if you are not hungry. Eat when you are hungry, but don’t wait until you are starving because that leads to overeating. If your body tells you it’s full, stop eating; don’t be afraid to have leftovers!

Slow down: Savor each bite and put your fork down between bites. This gives your body time to recognize that you are full. Eating slowly allows you to feel more satisfied, which is not the same as being “full”.

Eliminate distractions: Avoid eating in front of the TV, computer, or while being on the phone. Being distracted or not paying attention while eating may lead to excessive portion sizes.

Plan: Prepare healthy snacks throughout the day. Keep fruit, veggies, or whole grain snacks readily available.

Track food intake: Keeping a food journal increases your awareness to how much and what you are consuming. Write down everything you eat and drink, then identify your motives for eating those foods- were you eating for emotional comfort rather than for hunger? Then look for ways you can improve your food choices and make healthy changes.

Click here to find out more information about UnityPoint Health – Marshalltown’s Outpatient nutrition services.

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