What Is MINDFUL Eating?
When you hear the term “mindful eating” what do you think of? Do you picture a person who is in deep concentration as they chew their food methodically? Or do you think of someone who spends time thinking about it, and then making healthy food choices? If either of these crossed your mind, you’re not too far off.
Think About It, Mindful eating is about concentration; you concentrate not only on what you are eating but what is going on inside and around you. Mindful eating is also about healthy choices that help lead you to a better level of well-being and about practicing mindfulness while you intake your food.
Mindfulness comes from a Buddhist practice; to slow yourself down and think about the moves you make and the actions you take. To pay attention to the physical sensations of yourself and your surroundings as you complete a task.
Slow It Down.
Now, why should anyone sit and contemplate what they eat? Well, in today’s fast-paced world, many people grab a meal and eat while watching TV or looking at their computer or phone. The next thing they know, the food is gone and they still feel hungry because they didn’t notice what they ingested, nor did their body register food was being consumed. This leads to over eating, more calories being consumed and your body not having the time to absorb nutrition. If mindfulness is practiced while eating, it can lead to better portion control, weight loss, healthier choices and a healthier body due to nutrition being absorbed.
There are many emotions that can trigger eating. Some people eat because they are upset, bored, angry or frustrated. But happiness can also trigger emotional eating; after all, most happy celebrations include cake, alcohol, and foods that are indulgent.
Practice mindful eating by not allowing yourself to be pulled into the emotions of food, but to concentrate on food for what it is; energy for the body.
Steps To Take
Follow some simple steps the next time you find yourself at meal or snack time.
Remove distractions from around you. Turn off the TV, the phone, or the computer.
Prepare your body to eat, centre yourself in a relaxing environment, take a few deep breathes and give gratitude for the food you are about to eat or to the person who prepared it for you.
Eat slowly. Think about the food you are consuming. Enjoy it’s complexity, or its simplicity. Listen to your body, when you feel satisfied, STOP eating, this will assist you from overeating and feeling overly FULL.
Engage your senses. Pay attention to the smell, taste, and texture of the food. Notice the sounds and environment around you.
Appreciate the food you have, again be thankful and give gratitude for the food you can eat, there are so many others who cannot.
A little mindfulness goes a long way in giving you a healthier and happier life.
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