Have you been focusing on trying to improve your diet? While the types of food you eat affect your nutrition, the way you eat your food is also important. Although it is often forgotten about, mealtime behaviours play an important role in our health and even weight loss success! You may find the ideal mealtime behaviours are not always achievable, but we would recommend aiming for these wherever possible. Read on for some tips to improve your mealtime behaviours!

1. Eat without distractions

Let’s be honest, we have all sat down to watch TV or a movie and eaten a whole packet of popcorn or chips without even realising. Many of us may have also eaten our lunch while working away and found ourselves still hungry for more. Being distracted while eating can make a large difference when it comes to meeting your nutrition goals. Whether it’s sitting in front of the TV or eating your lunch while doing work, it’s really easy to over consume when you are not paying attention to what you are eating.

We recommend, where possible, allowing yourself 15-30 minutes to sit down and enjoy your meal without distractions. Not only can this help you to enjoy the food you are eating even more, but you will also find yourself being more satisfied with your meal.

2. Slow down

With our busy lifestyles it is easy to get into the habit of quickly devouring our meals before moving onto the next thing we have to do. While this may seem beneficial for your productivity, it is not so great when it comes to our nutrition. Not only does eating slowly allow you to chew your food properly and thus help with your digestion, it can also help you to feel more satisfied after eating the same amount of food. This is because it takes time for your stomach to register that you have eaten and send signals (hormones) to tell your brain that you’re full. By eating slowly, this allows you to notice the feelings of fullness and can prevent you from overeating.

3. Eat mindfully

In a similar way to eating without distractions, eating mindfully can help to reduce the amount of food you are eating while still feeling satisfied. This involves concentrating on the taste, texture, mouthfeel and overall experience of the foods you eat. In doing so, you may find yourself feeling satisfied on a smaller serving, since you are actually enjoying and savouring the food you are eating. You may even find yourself noticing different elements of flavour or texture in food that you had never picked up on. Learning to eat mindfully can help to bring the excitement back into eating some of your favourite foods

4. Have set mealtimes

Especially while #WFH it can be easy to mindlessly graze all day. This can cause you to eat more than you realise and can hinder your ability to meet your nutrition goals. We should be aiming to have set mealtimes throughout the day with a 2-5hour gap between meals or snacks. Try pencilling in some time into your day for meals and snacks. Not only will this allow you to switch off from your work and focus on your eating, but it can also be beneficial for your productivity later in the day – it’s a win-win from our point of view!