Mindful snacking and eating is trending as it changes people’s relationships with food and can ultimately lead to a healthier lifestyle. But what does “mindful mean” when it comes to what we eat? As part of my ambassadorship with goodnessKNOWS, I looked into both why and how our personal paths to greatness include mindful snacking.
In my experience, it does take time to incorporate mindful snacking into a daily routine. Practice makes perfect. But, it’s worth it.
1. First, Take Pause (Most Important)
In a fast-paced digital (and often sedentary) world, our minds can become too distracted to really assess what we’re doing at a given moment.
Every single article I’ve read about mindful snacking suggests that it’s important to stop and check in with yourself. Take a quick survey of how you feel. Think about why you are hungry. Is it because you’re bored or stressed? Is it because you skipped breakfast? Next, ask yourself what it is exactly that you’re craving. Apparently, we’re often not feeding our bodies what we truly need because we’re not listening to its cues.
If you can master this step, the rest becomes much easier. You’ll get into the habit of paying attention to what you actually need and how you feel after you eat certain things which can result in smarter food choices.
2. Grocery Shop with Purpose
Making smart choices at the grocery store obviously plays a huge role in mindful snacking. You have to stock the foods that your body needs. If what’s in your cart includes some or all of the below, this is a good start.
And it’s possible to enjoy many of these delicious foods inside goodnessKNOWS snack squares. Each pack is divided into four snackable squares that add up to 150 calories. goodnessKNOWS is gluten-free, made with no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners and available nationwide in six flavors, all crafted with dark chocolate:
- Cranberry & almond
- apple, almond & peanut
- peach, cherry & almond
- blueberry & almond
- mixed berry & almond
- strawberry & peanut
goodnessKNOWS also has 100 mg of naturally-occurring cocoa flavanols which are the good stuff found inside cocoa beans and some dark chocolate products. Find out where to buy goodnessKNOWS near you. We’ve been eating these snack squares for a while now and the dark chocolate on them helps satisfy my sweet tooth.
Keep Good Snacks Accessible (And Snack Before You’re Starving)
I put snacks in my purse when traveling or running errands during times I’d normally get hungry. This prevents me from, say, stopping at the mall’s macaron stand for a pick-me-up. Usually, I reach for a quick snack in the pantry on my way out to the garage.
Yes, mindful snacking means forward thinking your day in anticipation of when you might be hungry and having a healthy snack ready when you need it. I tend to make poor eating decisions when I reach a certain level of hunger (yes, I get “hangry”).
4. Manage Portions Like This
A good rule of thumb is to serve yourself. Don’t eat out of a bag. Put whatever it is on a plate so that you can see what you’re eating. Bento boxes work really well for our family when on-the-go because, well, they’re fun and they help portion food.
Or, use small plates. This is another tip I learned when researching healthy snacking. We tend to eat less when we self-serve using smaller plates.
When snacking mindfully, grab a small appetizer plate and put a little food on it especially if you’re faced with the option of putting a myriad of things on the plate, like a mini snack buffet.
The next step is important. Flip down the laptop screen and turn the TV off. Put everything that might distract you aside and take a seat. It is hard to practice mindful snacking when multitasking. Rediscover the joy of eating by tasting your food rather than functioning on autopilot.
As someone who is always on the computer during the day, this takes discipline, but I’m getting better at it. I do tend to eat less when I’m not mindlessly eating and I really do actually taste my food better!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of goodnessknows. The opinions and text are all mine.