Frances Trussell, ITV1’s Sugar Free Farm Mindfulness Coach, gives us her top tips for Mindful Eating and how it can transform your relationship to food.
For many of us food is an obsession. We think about it constantly; what we fancy eating, what we should and shouldn’t be eating; good food, naughty food – it takes us so much space in our already busy heads. Except, that is, when we are eating it. Suddenly we look down and it’s almost gone, that dish we’ve been craving has disappeared, shovelled in while our attention was somewhere else.
Mindfulness is the art of paying attention, having your mind full of what you are doing rather than lost in thought.
When we eat mindfully we focus on the beautiful act of eating and something quite brilliant happens; the autopilot chatter of our wandering mind calms down and we get to really experience the food. Mindfully eating we easily notice when our bodies have had enough and we can choose to stop rather than plough through until we are stuffed. It sounds super simple, and it is, the tricky bit is remembering to do it, but like any habit we can train ourselves and once we do we can make overeating a thing of the past. It is absolutely possible to get so much more from our food while still eating less; it’s win-win so give it a go!
Frances’ Top Tips on Mindful Eating;
- Check In; before you start eating check how hungry are you? Are you eating through hunger or for another reason such as time of day, feelings of boredom or upset? Do you actually want to eat what you are about to eat or are you eating it out of habit?
- Use all of your senses; how does it look, smell, taste? What is the temperature & texture?
- Slow down; really pay attention. Take time to chew and swallow between mouthfuls. Rest your fork or put down food in-between bites.
- Drink some water; often we think we are hungry when actually we are thirsty. Staying hydrated helps both with digestion and stopping us from eating too much.
- Listen to your body; notice how it is reacting to the food. Stop when you are satisfied, don’t wait until you’re overfull.
- Get OK with leaving food on your plate; It may go against what we get trained into believing from an early age but no-one ever saved starving children by overeating.
As with all mindfulness practices your mind will wander, this is fine, just gently keep bringing your attention back to the food. The more familiar we make this it soon embeds as a new habit.
Eating is one of life’s great pleasures – an experience worth showing up for, make the most of it!
To train directly with Frances see: www.francestrussell.com
You can see the episode of Sugar Free Farm featuring Frances teaching Mindful Eating on Tuesday 31st January at 9pm on ITV1.
Celebrities trained were, Ann Widecombe, Gemma Collins, Peter Davidson, Joe Pasquale, Alison Hammond, Lagi and Demi Demetriou of Stavros Flatley.