I'm pretty sure we all know how to eat. If not because of what our body tells us, then at least from the numerous articles about it in newspapers, magazines, and online websites. Here are a few of the tips that I've found helpful in controlling what, when, and how I eat:

1) Practice mindful eatingTake a few moments before you start eating to give thanks for the meal before you. Focus on the texture, flavors, and aromas of the food you are eating. Be present in the moment and make sure your attention is on the food you are eating. This helps the body to become more aware of what you are eating.

2) Slow down! So many of us are on the go and seemingly have no time to eat. I know it hasn't been long since I wolfed down a wrap so I could back to work on time. Try to take a lengthy, leisurely lunch and give yourself time to relax, digest, and go for a short walk after eating. If this isn't possible because of your schedule, be sure to at least put your fork down and savor your food between bites.

3) Chew more. It almost seems like food is made these days to be able to be swallowed. This practice, however, is extremely unhealthy, as it doesn't allow the body to fully absorb the nutrients you're offering it. Chewing is actually the first step in the digestive process. The enzymes in your saliva are meant to start breaking down what you're eating before the stomach can process it. A simple exercise you can try is to chew each bite between 25 and 50 times.

4) Sit at the table- and nowhere else. We often find ourselves eating in various places: our cars, cubicles, bedrooms, in front of the TV. Sitting at the table in your kitchen, office break room, or at a restaurant can keep you more focused on your meal. Eating in front of the TV is a mindless practice that can cause you to overeat and eating in your bedroom creates a night-time environment that is anything but relaxing.

5) Free yourself from distractions. When you're focused on something other than what you're currently consuming, you're less likely to notice your body's full signals. The food that you're eating should be your primary focus during mealtimes.

6) Eat at consistent times every day. It's easy to have an early morning meeting and skip breakfast, wake up late on the weekends and then eat, or vary dinner based on the schedules of your family members. Keep in mind that WHEN you eat and HOW you eat are just as important as WHAT you eat. Your body may start to tell you you're hungry at noon, if that's when you usually eat lunch at work. If you got up at 10am on Saturday morning, though, noon's a little early for lunch, but your body doesn't know that. Eating at consistent times helps your body to digest more thoroughly and send you the right signals on when to eat.

7) Figure out what works for you: three square meals a day or more, smaller meals throughout the course of the day? Every person is different- that's the whole purpose of bio-individuality. There are a lot of cultures and people that thrive on a three-meal-a-day diet. There are other people, still, that can't make it throughout the day without grazing. Pay some attention to how you feel when you're eating three solid meals or when you're eating more frequent, smaller meals. Pick what feels right to you.

8) Keep a food-mood journal. Everyone says it. You've probably heard it before! And I can tell you, for some people this is NOT going to be an option. Personally, I'd rather internalize my reactions to food than write it all down and yet a lot of people find writing things down quite helpful. When you're keeping a food-mood journal, it's important to record the time you ate, what you ate, the caloric intake (as exact as you can get it), who you were with, where you were, and any emotional or physical effects you may have experienced (i.e. Dizziness, headache, sad, heavy).

9) Start with a single serving size portion. Portion distortion is abundant in America. Restaurants serve plates with enough food to feed 2 or 3 people, the average plate size used at home has increased, and even the size of our beverages is 3 times larger than it was 20 years ago. Serve yourself a single serving, wait 30 minutes after eating, and, if you're still hungry, serve yourself another SINGLE serving.

10) Leave the food in the kitchen. A common practice is to put food bowls on the table in order to serve the whole family. Try doing things buffet style and keep the food in the kitchen. If you want more food, you're more apt to think about it because doing so requires a walk to the kitchen instead of asking someone to pass the mashed potatoes.

Fairly simple, huh? Sometimes I feel like you can know EVERYTHING you need to do and the number one thing you still don't have is the motivation. Even knowing that you can fit back into your old jeans (remember those skinny jeans? Mine are a size 2 and I sure miss 'em) isn't always enough. That's where a health coach can come in handy. Consider them like your best friend but with a little more training and better results. We're here to compassionately give you a kick in the rear to get you in gear. It's like good ol' business speaker Larry Winget says, "Knowledge is NOT power. The implementation of knowledge is power." So start using it! I can guarantee you that if you implement at least one of these practices that you'll notice a difference in your overall health and well-being, as well as weight maintenance or weight-loss.

Author's Bio: 

Shannon Lagasse, The Young and Fresh Health Coach, teaches women who are struggling to lose weight how to drop the pounds easily and enjoyably by empowering them to find freedom from restrictive dieting, deprivation, rigorous exercise regimes, and beliefs about food that are holding them back from having their ideal body. To schedule your F.R.E.E. Breakthrough to BodyLove Session and to receive her inspirational weekly health & wellness articles on natural ways to get the body and life you want, visit http://www.youngandfreshhealth.com.