Weekend Musings: When Mindful Eating Flies Out the Door

As I head into this weekend, I’m reminding myself to prioritize my self-care.

Weekends can be tough.

They’re less structured. I’m doing and doing and doing and forgetting to listen to my body.

Sometimes, by the time I stop to listen, I’m so hungry that I eat an entire container of plantain chips.

What is it about the weekend that makes listening to my body more difficult than during the week?

It’s the free time.

The things I’m doing and doing are all things I love to do. Going to Crossfit, lifting weights in my basement, taking Chester for walks in the woods, baking delicious goodies, visiting with my sister, having drinks with friends.

I’m taking care of my social self, my emotional self and my physical self by enjoying every precious moment.

But, for some reason, I sometimes forget to take care of my mindful eating self.

The weekends roll in and my mindful eating tends to fly out the door.

Now, I’m not carelessly tossing back Big Macs, or mowing entire bags of Cool Ranch Doritos (although I have done this in the past). I don’t go completely bonkers with the junk food. I still stick with my Paleo lifestyle,I just tend to eat my normal foods with abandon: I just eat way more food over the weekends.

I forget to listen to my body and eat until I’m too full…

Then I’m uncomfortable…

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has trouble with weekends…

SO.  Here are 3 tips to help us all make mindful eating over the weekend a priority.

  • Come up with a trigger word or phrase that reminds you to slow down. Think of some keyword or phrase that you can use to pull yourself out of that bag of corn chips and back to reality. One of my clients has an acronym that he keeps written on a card in his pocket to remind him to slow down, savor each bite and enjoy his meals. Sometimes it takes an external trigger to remind us to get centered and slow down.
  • Handfuls, not bagfuls. Whatever you’re munching, take it out of the bag. I don’t know about you, but I eat WAY more munchy foods, like plantain chips, veggie chips…chocolate chips…over the weekend. Instead of reaching your hand into the giant, 3lb, endless bag of M&Ms, grab a handful and focus on those.  Grab a handful, seal the bag and then think about whether your brain or your body wants more.
  • Experiment with chewing. Chewing your food thoroughly is KEY for mindful eating. Chewing starts your digestion, chewing makes you think…it slows you down and lets your brain catch up to your stomach. Experiment with the number of times you chew each mouthful. I triple dog dare you to chew one baby carrot 100 times.

How do you remind yourself to practice mindful eating over the weekends? Share your tips in the comments!

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