What is Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is the ability to be aware of what we consume on a daily basis. This practice becomes crucial especially when we tend to be around our home more often, as the proximity to food and boredom increases the tendency to eat at irregular intervals.
How could we try to become more mindful of eating?
- Avoid distractions: Watching television, reading a book could all distract you from paying attention while having food. It could be a harmless habit but contribute to overeating.
- Bringing our senses to meals: Engaging our senses while eating food helps us to appreciate food along with increasing our awareness of the food we consume. When we smell, taste, and devour our food we tend to become more present while eating enabling us a feeling of comfort. It enhances our experience of eating while ensuring that we fully are aware of the food we take.
- Eating slowly: It helps us to become aware of what we are consuming along with its quantity. When we eat quickly, we pay less attention to what we are eating, how much we are consuming which contributes to a reduced satisfaction leaving us wanting more food. Eating slowly has shown to be more helpful in making our digestion quicker and we tend to appreciate food more.
- Reduce portions: Implying that we make use of small plates to serve smaller portions to eat. We can avoid the practice of eating food in its container as this motivates us to finish it all off.
- Routine meals: Scheduling meals would rid the feelings of hunger between the meals making sure that we eat to the fullest during meals. Therefore, your digestive systems get accustomed to these schedules and start releasing their digestive enzymes just before you start your meal improving your digestion.
- Food journaling: This practice helps us understand the types of food we like eating. It could also involve take videos and photos or even trying out new recipes.
- Do not restrict food: Limiting our food intake leads to more food cravings and is unhealthy as it causes nutritional deficiency. Incorporating a variety of nutrients and proteins improves the diet and reduces unnecessary food cravings.
Does mindful eating practices have any benefits?
- Dealing with anxiety and guilt regarding food: Mindful eating reduces food intake while maintaining a balanced diet. Since we are aware of the quality and quantity of food we consume, we can easily rid ourselves of the anxiety and guilt often associated with food consumption.
- Increase overall wellbeing: Helps to distinguish between hunger and non-hungry triggers such as feeling tired to sleep or thirst can be confused with needing more food. When we exercise adequately, engage in self-care and consume a balanced diet, we will begin to identify whether we are truly hungry or just thirsty and being active through the day removes the tendency to eat due to boredom.
- Leading to weight loss: Mindful eating reduces the tendencies of emotional eating and excessive eating leading to weight loss on a long-term basis. We become more aware of food while maintaining a balanced diet improving our metabolism further leading to a subsequent weight loss.
Practising mindful eating ensures we savour and appreciate the food we eat. It rids us of unhealthy eating habits. Mindful eating can aid us in moulding a healthier lifestyle.
- Mindful Eating 101 — A Beginner’s Guide – Healthline. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mindful-eating-guide
- Kaur, R. (2015, April 17). 10 Ways To Practice Mindful Eating. Retrieved from https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/10-ways-practice-mindful-eating.html
- 58 Science-Based Mindful Eating Exercises and Tips. (2020, March 18). Retrieved from https://positivepsychology.com/mindful-eating-exercises/
- Harvard Health Publishing. (n.d.). Mindful eating. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/mindful-eating