Mindful Eating on Campus: A Perspective on Balance
Being mindful is usually associated with meditation and wellbeing, but recent advances in the areas of mindfulness have applied it to other aspects of life, such as physical health. Did you know that applying mindfulness techniques to diet and exercise can better your physical health? According to Registered Dietitian Liana Bontempo from McMaster’s Hospitality Services, mindful eating can be thought of as intuitive eating, or listening to your body’s cues and reactions.
A skill that is challenging for most individuals is getting in touch with their physical hunger. This means recognizing when they are full as opposed to emotional or stress eating. Bontempo stresses that being present while eating your food is important to fueling a healthier lifestyle; being mindful allows you to make more informed choices about what you are eating.
From a young age, we are taught that sugar is bad for our health and that eating leafy vegetables is essential for our bodies to grow adequately. However, this can be difficult to remember during the
transition to university. Although we have more control over our own food choices, time is in short supply. Maintaining a balanced diet while being a student is challenging. How do we achieve this?
Understanding what you are eating can go a long way when making choices about your diet. Bontempo recommends using critical thinking skills when making decisions about what to eat. Some examples include:
- Choosing healthier sides or beverages to balance out meals.
- Packing healthy snacks that you can eat on-the-go to make sure that you’re getting the nutrients you need.
- Trading caffeinated snacks or beverages with snacks that will boost your energy levels, such as fresh fruit, greek yoghurt, and dark chocolate.
Healthy food keeps you going; ensure that your nutrition and food choices support your lifestyle while at school.