What Is Mindful Eating And What Are The Benefits Of Mindful Eating?
What is Mindful Eating?
You may be familiar with the term ‘mindfulness’, but are you aware this can be applied to our eating habits? Mindful eating employs the act of mindfulness or presence in our increasingly busy lives to assist overcome eating problems. The idea is to shift the attention from external food thinking to eating experiences. It is not a diet and concentrates on the development of a new orientation to eating.
Benefits of Mindful Eating
1. Better digestion and absorption of nutrients
digestion, Credits: pixabay
When eating with awareness we tend to chew food more thoroughly, which makes the food easier to digest and allows the body to absorb the nutrients in the food more effectively and efficiently. Food needs to be broken down into very small pieces in order to be absorbed through incredibly small passages in our small intestine.
The less we digest food in the mouth, the more work the body has to do on that food in the stomach and intestines, and sometimes the body simply does not have enough energy to digest the food into small enough pieces, so the nutrients in the food are not absorbed at all!
2. Food tastes better
a woman eating food, Credits: pexels
When all of our attention is focused on the sensations of eating, flavors become much more dynamic and vibrant. Many people are astonished at the difference in flavor they experience the first time they give mindful eating a try!
The reason for this is that when our awareness is fragmented between our other senses of sight, touch, smell and sound, we are distracted from our sense of taste, and cannot experience it fully.
3. Reduces food cravings
a woman mindfully eating food, Credits: pexels
By eating with awareness we start to tune into the subtle signals our body is sending us relating to hunger. Many times we might eat for reasons other than being actually hungry including boredom, eating because other people are eating and we want to join in, eating to help deal with emotion, or eating just because it’s a certain time of the day.
There’s nothing wrong with us for doing any of these things, and practicing eating mindfully will help us be more aware of the reasons behind our food cravings.
4. Helps us lose weight
a woman with weight loss, Credits: pexel
When we start to really pay attention to our food, a number of things start to change which can help us lose weight. By eating slowly and thus eating less, we begin to cultivate a stronger metabolism helping us to shed those unwanted pounds. Being more in tune with our body and differentiating between cravings and actual hunger, we can practice eating only when we really need to, promoting weight loss.
5. Feel fuller sooner and by eating less food.
a woman eatingCredits: pexels
6. Eat in a healthier, more balanced way.
healthy diet, Credits: pexels