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Each month we'll be sharing articles from our health consultants to give you guidance & advice on health and wellbeing topics including healthy eating, exercise and being the best you can be!

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Think Before You Eat


Australian dietitians believe the key to better eating habits is ‘mindful eating’, according to a new study. But what does that mean and why would we want to do it?

Mindful eating is about eating with all of our senses, according to Dietitians Association of Australia spokesperson Natasha Meerding. “Eating mindfully is about experiencing, without judgement, the emotional and responses that take place before, during and after eating,” she explains.

When the Dietitians Association of Australia asked 175 accredited practising dietitians to share their goals and favourite nutrition tips they use with clients and in their own lives, almost 60 per cent said they were planning more mindful eating habits.

Natasha says to eat mindfully it is important to;

-Sit down and take time to eat meals
-Put your fork down between mouthfuls
-Eat away from distractions including books, newspapers, television, telephones and computers
-Tune into your internal physical hunger and fullness
-Eat mostly when you are physically hungry (rather than emotionally hungry or bored)

Taking time to enjoy our food has many advantages, the accredited dietitian explains. “Taking time to fully experience what we are eating with all of our senses, and eating mostly in response to physical hunger, leads to increased appreciation of food,” she says. “Research shows us eating more mindfully can also lead to eating less. So the food tastes better and we eat less.”

Feeling inspired? Natasha offers some final great tips:

-Eat a variety of foods you enjoy based on the five food groups (vegetables and legumes; fruits; wholegrain cereals and grains; lean meats, fish, chicken and alternatives, reduced fat dairy.
-Eat mindfully away from distraction and mostly when you are physically hungry
-Tune in to why you are eating and if this is for reasons other than physical hunger e.g. boredom, emotional reasons, look at other things you can do instead of eating. E.g. take a walk if you are bored, phone a friend instead of emotionally eating. Note: it might be helpful to talk to a psychologist, an Accredited Practicing Dietitian or your GP if you are eating frequently for emotional reasons.
-Think about food as being important for nourishing our bodies and souls to be healthy for today and into the future rather than thinking of food in terms of how it affects your weight.


How will you get more mindful at your next meal?

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