Mindful Eating Is Good But Do You Know How To Do It?
What is Mindful Eating?
Mindfulness means focusing on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. The tenets of mindfulness apply to mindful eating as well, but the concept of mindful eating goes beyond the individual. Mindful eating is the incorporation of mindfulness into the act of eating food. Mindful eating teaches us to become aware of the choices, options, and solutions surrounding food and eating.
There are many techniques to mindful eating. Here are a few to share:
Start by taking a few deep breaths and considering the health value of each different piece of food.
a woman relaxing, Credits: pexels
Employ all your senses while you’re eating your food. Notice how different foods look and smell. How do they taste as you eat?
a woman using her senses and enjoying food, Credits: pexels
Take a bite, and notice how it feels in your mouth. Appreciate your food. How would you describe the texture now? Try to identify all the ingredients, all the different flavors. Chew thoroughly and notice how you chew and what that feels like.Take your time, stay present and don’t rush the experience.
a woman eating, Credits: pexels
Put your utensils down between bites. Take time to consider how you feel—hungry, satiated—before picking up your utensils again. Listen to your stomach, not your plate. Know when you’re full and stop eating.
people eating at a restaurant, Credits: pexels
Give gratitude and reflect on where this food came from, the plants or animals involved, and all the people it took to transport the food and bring it onto your plate. Being more mindful about the origins of our food can help us all make wiser and more sustainable choices.
a woman reflecting and feeling grateful, Credits: pexels
Continue to eat slowly as you talk with your dining companions, paying close attention to your body’s signals of fullness. If eating alone, try to stay present to the experience of consuming the meal.
a woman eating with a companion, Credits: pexels
Don’t wait until you’re ravenous to eat. If you skip meals and wait to give your body what it needs, you’ll come to the table ravenous, which usually leads to impulse eating and overeating as you seek to fill the void of hunger rather than eating meaningfully. This comes back to tip number two – always prepare for busy days and make time to eat. Tune into your hunger! Know what your intentions are in eating this specific meal.
a man eating food, Credits: pexels
Consider your portion size – Starting with a smaller portion size can help you become more aware of the food that is actually on your plate and increase your focus on what you’re eating, as well as how it’s meeting your hunger needs.
a plate of food, Credits: pexels
Another way of bringing your attention to your meal is to take a break between bites. Reflect on the food left on your plate before continuing with your meal. It physically forces you to slow down and gives you the chance to check in with your body and see how your fullness levels are doing.
people eating, Credits: pexels
Chew slowly and pay attention – On a busy workday, it’s all too easy to inhale your food and move on to the next thing. Mindfulness is about taking this slowly and that includes the physical motion of eating itself. Make a conscious effort to chew slower than you usually would. You might be surprised by how much you taste and how much quicker you feel full.