Watching a movie or playing a game requires your full focus and attention when taking part in activities as these, it’s the same with whenever you wash or bathe which also needs your concentration. Mindful eating is simply that in which being fully aware of how we eat our foods can make the difference in feeling better, appreciating it more and helping your body.
It helps us to place importance in what we are eating and how we eat our foods. By always watching TV while eating can place a major distraction when we eat our foods. We tend to focus on the scene on the screen and not placing value or significance on our foods which renders the experience of eating altogether.
“The path to a healthy body, and happy soul is based upon self-study, mindfulness, love and awareness.
Understanding our relationship to eating cultivates a lot of insights and helps us to start living to our highest potential.” – Natasa Pantovic Unit.
Studies suggest (we have all heard this too many times) that eating too quickly or inattentively can cause health problems long term such as weight problems or even feelings of dissatisfaction that could leave you feeling hungry quite quickly!
However, there are many simple steps that can be adopted and formed into a habit of eating with pleasure and not being a daunting task or feeling somewhat unfulfilled after finishing meals.
Benefits of Mindful Eating
While we can sometimes be in a rush to gulp down our meals now and then and can be unavoidable at times while we work at a fast pace with our tight schedules, it can be difficult to carry out mindful eating in certain circumstances.
The main point is being aware of the process of your feelings and thoughts as you eat and to feel comfortable in doing so:)
What’s not to gain from mindful eating? The effects come into full force immediately and can feel reassuring while taking you another step closer to a positive lifestyle.
- Promotes better digestion and allows your stomach to work in a much calmer state which in turn, deals with food in a reassuring way. The body will feel less stressed and optimizes scope for digestion properly and cope with it in a timely manner.
- Feelings of enjoyment. Remember that time when you gulped down a hot meal like it was your last? Well, humour aside not only will you suffer from some kind of heartburn or inflammation but you may end up feeling groggy! When you eat with ease, concentrate on the taste of the foods that you eat, then it is relaxing and pleasurable which gets you in a great mood!
- Better experience. Simply by ensuring that you have full focus and taking each bite with satisfaction of your foods can be a game changer! You can understand what foods work well for you and foods that may work against you. It may help you to avoid ‘junk’ food or even lowers the need to ‘binge’ eating.
- Encouragement towards eating healthier. While you are aware of chewing your foods with recognition and feeling at peace doing so, your awareness for healthy eating can get ticked off. You may find yourself opting for nutritional foods more and committed to putting good fuel inside your bodies more:)
- Reduce over eating – You may feel fuller and satisfied for longer as you eat mindfully and take a more attentive approach to your meals.
There are many rewards that can be gained by focusing on the foods that we eat and even understanding how the foods work on us.
Mindful eating practices
The concept of mindful eating certainly makes sense in terms of overall general well-being, great for digestive health and feeling good:)
Mindful eating stems from the Eastern area and closely related with Buddhism. An American professor called ‘Jon Kabat-Zin‘ was a student of Zen Buddhist and creator of a centre of mindfulness in medicine at the university of Massachusetts medical school.
Adopting the steps for mindful eating and putting it into practice is easy enough to do and formed quickly, it is sensible to participate in some of the techniques and to truly be yourself when mindful eating –
- It is crucial to sit down whenever you eat which helps you to feel at home and dine with peace and taking your time. Coincidentally, while you sit down on the floor with your legs crossed, it can aid in digestion a whole lot better while eating, which is known as Sukhasana.
- Minimize multi tasking when you eat food such as scrolling through your phone unnecessarily and talking too much which may cause you to choke on your food and restless while taking too much on.
- Smell the food and really enjoy the aroma and the appearance that it presents to you. This may sound traditional to do, but giving praise before you eat and after is blessing your food with love and emphasizes the experience more:)
- Eating when you are hungry instead of emotional reasons such as sadness or boredom, which can allow for a positive vibe and for appropriate fuel that your body needs daily.
With that being said, it is helpful to chew food slowly which helps in paying attention to the flavor and texture more and to dedicate yourself completely with the experience of eating while trying not to think about anything else such as work tasks or plans. It is ideal to follow some of these steps, if not all:)
Define mindful eating
Mindful eating is simply a healthier approach to eating your foods with awareness, it’s all about being present at the moment while eating more mindfully and excited to savour every bite – happily and with more ease!
There are many techniques to try as you mindfully eat better and finding your own way is through trial and error as there are too many ways to go for and we all have our preferences:) It is always beneficial to just stop eating when you feel full to avoid from over eating!
The traits that are taken into consideration of eating food more mindfully stems from using all your senses such as appreciating the appearance and smell of foods, putting foods inside your mouth slowly and chewing with ease, feelings of gratitude and being in a good mood as you eat and many other traits that can contribute the experience.
You can distinguish the differences between emotional and physical hunger. Your awareness of food-related issues will be enhanced and it prompts you the freedom to choose your response to them.
Being aware and putting this into practice can promote general well- being and good health effects in the long run.
Thank you for reading and if you do have any questions or comments, please leave below and I’ll be sure to help you out!