The Big Picture

The Little Gym Blog
Why does gratitude improve our food choices? Studies have found that practicing gratitude led to
decreased negative emotions, which consequently led to better eating behaviors. As many of us are
aware, negative emotions—stress, boredom, sadness—can drive us straight to chocolate and junk food.

Developing a regular gratitude practice can bring about small, positive, and cumulative changes to your
eating behaviors that benefit your health for decades to come.

Eat mindfully
Our brain needs 20 minutes to register that the stomach is full. So, eat slowly. Be aware of and savor
your meals. Mindful eating is a potent tool for losing weight, improving metabolism, and cultivating
gratitude. Mindful eating is not a diet. It is not a time to dwell on calories. Nor is it a way to be more
disciplined. Finally, it is not a way to overcome hunger pangs. To the contrary, mindful eating supports a
healthy relationship with food and helps us appreciate the joy and intimacy of eating.

Before eating a meal, take a moment to consider how the food arrived on your plate: think of the
farmers, the sunshine, and the soil, to connect with the fundamental gratitude of the present moment.

Encourage your child not to be a part of the “clean-plate club” but instead to join the “just right tummy
club.” To participate in the “just right tummy club” notice when they are hungry and when they feel full.
Rather than having a fixed goal of how much to eat, pay attention to their body’s cues.

Make mealtimes screen-free. Before meals, try clearing the kitchen table and putting down a tablecloth
to make your table an inviting and relaxing place to eat.