Mindful eating is one of the most important aspect of nourishing your body. When you eat mindfully you not only take care of your mental and physical well being but you also have a good eating experience overall.
Using your senses (sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing) to truly enjoy your meals and snacks; eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full; having a good understanding of the effects of food on health are some ways you can eat mindfully.
Feeling guilty about eating foods that you believe are not promoting 'positive eating habits' is not ideal in a relaxed eating environment. It is not profitable to waste time worrying about snacking on 'energy-dense' foods (foods that have added sugar, salt and dietary fat). Instead try to meet your recommended serves through your daily meals and snacks to ensure you get the nourishment you require from nutrient-dense foods found in the five food groups.
Being fixated on diets for weight loss is probably going to set you up to get even more frustrated especially when you are not able to maintain that weight loss you worked so hard to achieve. Mindful eating is a more effective way of losing weight over time and keeping it off long term. It is also most likely the best way to prevent or manage diet related chronic diseases.
The first step to mindful eating is to organise your day and prioritise meals and snack times. If you are skipping or rushing mealtimes because you are concerned about meeting deadlines for work, school and other essential activities, you have to be disciplined at how you use your time. Set time frames for each activity and work through a check list. Start working on essential activities early and not procrastinate and push things to the last minute.
Working through meals and snack times is not conducive for mindful eating. These times should not be skipped or rushed. Setting achievable daily targets for essential activities and planning and prepping meals ahead of time are the most challenging tasks but they are necessary for practising mindful eating; and I do appreciate that some families may have more challenges than others. Let your goals for the next month be realistic and achievable goals and leave some time in your daily routines for some mindful eating.