Mindful eating is observing the changes you see or how your body is reacting to the food consumed. In other words, it is an exercise we perform, in-the-moment awareness of the food that is consumed to improve our relationship with our food.
It has proven to be a healthy eating habit to follow for both your body and mind.
Read on to understand more about mindful eating and its benefits.
What is Mindful Eating?
Mindful eating is maintaining an awareness of the food and drink you are consuming while actually consuming it. Your body reacts to different kinds of food in different ways.
It requires you to observe how you are feeling while and after eating. Some part also involves concentrating on your food and your eating habits.
Acknowledge and accept the thoughts and body sensations you observe and simply don’t judge whatever is happening at the moment.
What does mindful eating involve?
- Eating slowly and without distraction
- Understanding the difference between true hunger and non-hunger cravings
- Noticing the colors, smell, texture of food
- Coping with guilt and anxiety regarding food
- Observing the effects of food on your mental and physical health
- Simply appreciating your food
Benefits of Mindful Eating
1.Mindful eating and your weight
Mindful eating aids in weight loss and helps maintain it there to the number you want.
In a study on Binge Eating Disorder (BED), participants of the research were assessed and interview; the reports showed that participants gained a mean weight of around 15.1 pounds in the 12 months before treatment due to binge eating.
Change the way you think about food and feel about it, the negative feelings you have regarding it may be changed and change the effects on your body.
2.Easier to digest
When you know what kind of food is affecting your body and in which way, you will increase or decrease the portion of that food on your plate.
Another reason is that your mind is focusing just on your food and eating it; the mind isn’t diverted or distracted with stress or things that bother you.
3.Prevents binge eating
Mindful eating will help you realize that at certain times you are just responding to a non-hunger binge. You will find yourself reducing the severity of binge eating.
Various studies and researches have shown that out of all the people who binge eat, 60-70% of people are obese.
Eating too fast will make you miss fullness signals your body is trying to give until you have eaten too much.
This will make it difficult for your body to digest food. It takes 20 mins for your brain to realize that you have had enough food to be full.
Today’s times have given the abundance of food choices. And the distractions to like eating while working or being on your phone or in front of computer screens.
By eating mindfully you are making eating an intentional act rather than an automatic one or compulsion.
How to practice mindful eating?
- There are many simple ways to start with:
- Take all the food you want to eat near you, make sure you don’t have to get up in the middle of eating
- Take out a particular amount of time to eat and set a timetable for everyday meals, follow that thoroughly.
- Eat slowly and chew each morsel many times. This helps in better digesting.
- Observe and acknowledge how you are feeling while and after eating the food.
- Put off all the distractions; turn off the TV and no mobile phones.
- Stop eating when you are full
Many enroll for seminars and read books available for mindful eating; these will help you see the benefits even more.
Practicing mindful eating will show the benefits if when you are consistent with it but it is definitely worth trying.
Following simple steps of mindful eating like focusing completely on food and taking notes of effects of food on you will give you apt and quick lessons about your relation with your food and help you improve it.