What is a mindful eating environment? A place free of distractions and temptation. You might be thinking, “Well, forget about the kitchen!” But in fact, it’s easier than you might think to turn your kitchen into a place where healthy food habits begin.
Willpower doesn’t always work for weight control. Actually, it’s easier to change your surroundings than it is to change your mind. If building healthier food habits is a goal of yours, consider the tips below for creating a mindful eating environment.
Tips for Creating a Mindful Eating Environment
Eat on Smaller Plates
Smaller plates force you to downsize your portions, and a lot of dishware is bigger than you even need. Smaller portions may help you consume fewer calories.
Keep a Fruit Bowl on Your Counter
Hungry? Looking for an easy snack? Keep a bowl of fruit out for easy access. You’re more likely to reach for an option like an apple or banana if it’s in front of you.
Serve Salad and Veggies First
Most of your plate should consist of healthy veggies. Before you bring out your main dish, serve salad and veggie options first. That way you know you’re eating enough, and you will likely eat less of your main dish that will likely have more fat and calories.
Set Your Main Dish on the Stove or Counter
Instead of bringing your main dish to the dinner table, leave it in your kitchen. Studies show you are less likely to reach for seconds this way.
Turn off Your Television
Sitting down to T.V. or a movie can take your focus off of eating. It’s very distracting, so you are more likely to eat mindlessly even if you’re full.
Keep All Snack Foods in an Inconvenient Spot
Do you have potato chips, pretzels or fruit snacks on hand? These foods are okay in moderation, but you don’t want to reach for them all the time. To lessen the likelyhood of this happening, store them away in a cabinet up high or a shelf in the back that you won’t feel like reaching toward. Reach for that fruit bowl instead!
Keep Water On-hand
Calories from drinks add-up quickly, so make water your go-to option. If you like cold water, keep a full jug or pitcher in your fridge at all times. If you like room temperature water, stow away a carton of water bottles for easy access.
There are many more ways to add to a mindful eating environment, but these are some great starting points. The key to being mindful is to focus on where you are, what you’re doing, and where you’re doing it. It’s about being tuned in to your surroundings. This way, you can make healthier decisions that also support weight management.