In today’s busy world, eating to some, is just another job we need to fulfill as quickly as possible. This practice does not allow us to pay attention to the kinds of foods we are putting into our bodies and how they make us feel as a result.
Mindful eating is a simple approach to eating that includes being aware of the whole process of eating and may help prevent overeating, support weight management and ward off certain health conditions. Here are some tips on how to practice mindful eating.
Slow down: This is the first step in learning how to mindfully eat. It is important that we take some time to appreciate the different flavors, smells and textures. Slowing down while eating allows us to enjoy our food more and recognize our satiety cues, which will help to avoid overeating.
Turning off any distractions: This step includes turning off the TV and putting your phone away and out of reach. Focusing on your meal is of key importance. These kinds of electronic distractions can lead to mindless eating and eliminating them will help with your focus.
Using all your senses: You should also be aware of the smell, texture and even color of you food. Taking smaller bites and chewing slowly will help to recognize these characteristics. The purpose of this step is to help learn how to be in the present, while also savoring your food.
Connect with your hunger and satiety cues: Become aware of when your body is telling you to eat and when it’s telling you to stop. This step will help to eliminate the possibility of overeating. You will have greater satisfaction after the meal.
Connect with your emotions: It is crucial that you are aware of how you feel before you eat and after. The emotions we feel can influence our eating habits. For example, stress and anxiety can make us turn to eating for a sense of “comfort”. Eating mindfully can help us become aware of these emotions and how to deal with them in a healthy way.
Practice gratitude: Before eating, it is important to express gratitude for your meal and anyone who prepared it. This step will help guide the appreciation we have for the food and allow us to build a connection to it.
To summarize, the concept of mindful eating is an easy yet influential way to better our relationship with food. Becoming aware of your body’s signals, being present in the moment and appreciating your meal will help you to have a greater satisfaction, while also avoid overeating. You can start practicing mindful eating at any time and witness the numerous benefits!