So what is mindful eating, anyway? Sarah Dacres-Manning of Dynamic Dietitians shares easy tips to shift your relationship with food.

So what is mindful eating, anyway? Sarah Dacres-Manning of Dynamic Dietitians shares easy tips to shift your relationship with food.

We all know what we eat has an impact on our health. But what about how we eat? Can the way we eat help our health, and help us live better lives?
 
According to dietitian Sarah Dacres-Mannings, the answer is yes. Mindful eating can improve the awareness of thoughts and actions when it comes to food, and assist us in making better choices. Dacres-Mannings encourages her clients to practice mindful eating as part of meeting their other nutritional goals, from weight loss and lowering cholesterol to improving sports performance.
 
For Dacres-Mannings, mindfulness is about being present when we eat, and eating with purpose – in a non-judgemental way. It helps free us from the negative thoughts we may have around food, and give greater compassion and care for ourselves.
 
So how do we practice mindful eating? Here are Sarah’s expert five tips:
 
1. Start with just one snack, when you’re on your own.
 
Start when there are no distractions. Each day, focus on one snack or meal that you have by yourself, and work up to using your new skill when eating with others.
 
2. Give your full attention to your food-related choices.
 

Mindfulness gets us in touch with our attitudes to what we eat and drink, allowing us to make better choices. This improves our meal-planning, shopping choices and what we consume.
 
3. Be aware of the purpose of eating.
 
Whether you’re snacking or eating a full meal, know why you’re eating. Are you hungry, stressed, celebrating, bored? Don’t make a judgement; just acknowledge it.
 
4. What’s the best way to monitor my food and fluid intake?
 
Start small then re-assess. Begin with a smaller portion size and, after finishing your meal and waiting a little while, consider how you feel. Sometimes we fill our plates and glasses without thinking about the amount of food we actually need.
 
5. Savour the experience.
 
When we rush or fail to notice our eating, our brain doesn’t get the right messages. Pause and use your senses. Look at what you’re eating. Notice the smell. Notice the taste. You’re more likely to feel satisfied when you truly experience what you’re eating.
 
When it comes to mindfulness, Sarah says if there is just one takeaway that you remember, it’s this: slowly and keep it simple; it’s all about taking a holistic approach.
 
For more information:
 
Dynamic Dietitians
MLC Medical Centre
Level 10
MLC Centre
 
02 9232 5455