How often do you have your mobile phone or your laptop with you while you are eating? More often than what we would like, isn’t it? Eating your meal with distractions is definitely not the best idea. If you have heard of mindful eating, it is time to inculcate that into your life as soon as possible.
Mindful eating strategies doesn’t need for you to go out of your way to get the job done, that is not how it works. All you need to do is make some positive changes in your life and the rest does fall into place.
By the end of this article, you will have a fair share of knowledge concerning the varying benefits of mindful eating and why it is important to opt for in your life.
What is Mindful Eating?
Mindful eating is described as the phenomenon of eating with awareness. In simpler terms, it helps you engage with your food and eat it without any form of distractions that helps you attain full awareness that helps you handle experience, cravings as well as the physical cues of hunger that many often tend to brush aside.
Additionally, this also allows you to use all your senses to consume food which is not just satisfying to your taste buds but quite nourishing for your body as well.
What are the steps involved in the process?
When it comes to discussing about mindful eating and how the same works, it can distinctively be divided into a number of categories.
- The very first step in the process is to acknowledge that there is no right or wrong way to eat
- Not just that, there are multiple degrees of awareness involved when it comes to the experience of food
- Be accepting of the fact that every single person’s eating experience is different
- Recognising and making choices in life which influence your overall health and well being for the better
- Help promote the prospect of balance, choice, wisdom and acceptance as well
- Directing one’s attention to consuming their food on a moment by moment basis
Does Mindful Eating Work?
It is quite a commonly and frequently asked question altogether. The effectiveness of mindful eating is dependent on how well you adhere to it.
Let’s be real here, eating hardly takes 15-20 minutes, depending on what you are eating. If you are stressed about the consequences of the same, it is definitely suggested to stick to a regime that you will gradually get used to.
Mindful eating definitely works magic in helping boost your overall health and well being. Aside from that, it has also been found to have quite a lot of impacts when it comes to helping count your calories and how much food you are consuming at one go.
How To Practice Mindful Eating?
All that being said, there are a number of ways involved when it comes to practicing mindful eating and we are going to be walking you through some of them.
Some of the effective and amazing ways to practice mindful eating include:
1. Slow Down for a Bit
We are often in such a rush with our life that we fail to sit down and appreciate the food in front of us and just gobble down whatever’s easy and convenient. When you slow down with your food, that is when you are well aware of how well your mind and body is working along.
There are a number of easy ways in one can easily slow down their eating habit and still find ways to successfully get through the process of eating mindfully.
Instead of eating everything at a go, try and take your time with the food. Take a breather by putting your fork down and then continue eating it all over again.
Doing this helps in keeping your mind and body on the same page and thus helps in getting everything through without any issues.
2. Have a Set Shopping List
Not many people realize this but having a set shopping list is often quite important when it comes down to mindful eating.
Technically, mindful eating isn’t technically just about the process of sitting down on the table and eating, it definitely does running deeper than that.
Having a grocery and shopping list made helps ensure that you are conscious and planned of the things that you are going to buy.
Instead of just going to the store and buying everything impulsively, it is always best suggested to have everything planned out so it’s easier for you to walk your way through and through the store without being misled.
3. Consider a Plant-Based Diet
Considering a plant based diet is often one of the common mindful eating strategies that you can adhere to. Plant based diets are not always everyone’s favourite but the same has been found to be quite amazing for your overall body and health.
Not only is it easy to digest, the nutrition from them is quite beneficial to boost one’s overall well being too.
4. Eat-in a Settled Atmosphere
Where you are eating does have an amazing impact on the prospect of mindful eating as well. It might be easy for you to get rid of the unnecessary distractions and such like phones and laptops from around you while you are eating but that technically doesn’t mean that you eat anywhere around.
In order to channel your focus to one point and on your food, it is very important to sit and eat at a place which has a very settled environment around it.
What this does is help calm your mind down and even helps contribute to getting better out of the food that you are consuming. It is quite important to look around for a place that is not crowded and can help you concentrate better on your food without any issues.
5. Know Your Hunger pangs
We are such compulsive eaters nowadays that we often tend to fail to understand whether we are actually hungry or it is just our mind playing tricks.
Whatever the same be, the best way to practice mindful eating is by ensuring that you understand your hunger well and are able to categorise the same based on your requirements.
More often than not, we eat what our mind instructs us to which shouldn’t be the case. Understand your hunger cues and known when you are actually hungry and not just for the sake of it.
It is always best to come to the dining table when you are hungry but not ravenously hungry because if that is the case, chances are that you will end up eating more than you should.
6. Start off with a Small Portion
Often times, you will find yourself taking big bites and big portions. This is definitely not how everything works when it comes to mindful eating.
In order to experience the mindful eating benefits, it is quite important to ensure that you consume food in portions, small portions, to be exact. What this does is help you assess and consume the amount of food that is actually necessary and required by your body.
7. Don’t Skip Out on Meals
Yet another one of the mindful eating strategies is to ensure that you don’t skip out on meals. You would be surprised how much it affects and impacts your body without you even realizing it.
Experts suggest that skipping meals makes it harder to make mindful choices. Instead of doing that and eating unhealthy, it is always best suggested to stick to a planned meal plan that will help you get the necessary amount of food and nutrition required for your body.
8. Always Sit Down to Eat
Many of us tend to eat on the go, thus grabbing anything and everything that you get on the way out. Instead of relying on just that and eating while you are standing or in a rush, it is always best to consume your food by sitting down in a place.
What this does is help you take time with the food, appreciate the blessing, take in the necessary nutrients and eat healthy altogether.
It is quite important to ensure that you sit down and eat. This helps in the process of keeping a count of the amount of calories you are eating and even helps in boosting the overall process of digestion altogether.
9. Appreciate Your Food
Much like our relationships, we also often tend to take our food for granted as well, without even realizing it. That is not part of the propaganda under the mindful eating tips.
It is very important to be thankful for all the food that you have gotten for yourself, without fail. This helps you connect well with the nutritive value of the food and lets you realize how gifted you are to be able to get such amazing food served to your plate.
Try and focus your mind to appreciate the food as well as the people you are enjoying the same with.
10. Chew Properly
Proper chewing of the food is not just categorized under the mindful eating strategies; it also does help ensure that you are able to digest the food properly.
You will be surprised as to how amazing the process can inflict on the food and the process that follows. Chewing the food multiple times ensure that your food is completely broken down. This not just helps you get a better taste of the food, it has also been found to have beneficial impacts in preventing the risks associated with choking.
11. Avoid Overeating
Nutritious or not, overeating can definitely impose quite a lot of negative impacts on the body that you are possibly not even aware of.
One of the most important mindful eating tips is the fact that not many people realize the difference between eating enough and overeating. It goes without saying that the mindful eaters definitely focus on this specific process altogether.
What this does is not just help you maintain a healthy lifestyle but also prevents overtaxing your body.
12. Make Use of All the Senses
Making use of all the senses around in your mind and body helps ensure that you are conscious of what you are consuming.
This is possibly one of the very best ways to help yourself practice mindful eating. Feeling through the colour, texture and the taste as well as the smell of the food is what helps bring forth better way of eating the food altogether.
Benefits of Mindful Eating
Now that we know how to practice mindful eating, the next step in the process is to divert our focus more on the benefits of mindful eating and how it can influence your overall health for the better.
Some of the mindful eating benefits include:
1. Prevents Overeating
Practicing mindful eating has actually been found to be quite effective in helping prevent overeating when you are not really hungry as well.
In retrospect, there are chances that we tend to eat based on our emotions. We often tend to eat when we are stressed or even bored, don’t we?
Being mindful about your eating habits help ensure that you actually make wise decisions and don’t end up giving in to the desires of “hunger” just because they are there.
2. Handles and Regulates Stress and Anxiety
Practicing mindful eating helps ensure that you are more aware of your emotions while you are eating. There are often times when we do end up consuming food just because we are either stressed because of our work or such.
While focusing on the food while eating, you rest assured of the fact that you are going to focus more on your food than being diverted with the unnecessary onslaught of emotions.
In a conducted study Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy, it was found that the participants who did indulge in practicing mindfulness were able to handle their signs and symptoms associated with anxiety disorder better than the ones who didn’t.
3. Prevents Binge Eating
Often times, one of the primary reasons behind our deteriorating health is because of the food that we are consuming.
It goes without saying that mindful eating benefits in preventing the habit of binge eating. It is not technically a random thought but several studies (R) have actually found the impacts of the mindful eating in preventing binge eating as well as emotional eating.
4. Helps Boost Your Health
Yet another one of the amazing benefits of mindful eating is that it helps in boosting your overall health. The main reason behind the same is because of the fact that mindful eating allows you to be present with your thoughts and emotions while you are consuming your food.
When you are eating mindfully, you are assured of the fact that you register your fullness which, in turn, has been found to have beneficial impacts in preventing you from eating unnecessary amounts of food.
It helps you pay close attention to your body’s cues of hunger and prevents you from overconsuming unnecessary levels of calories.
5. Help Cope with Chronic Eating Problems
Chronic eating problems like anorexia and bulimia are often very common in today’s date. Being aware of your eating habits and how consciously you are eating it can actually help a lot in managing the problems associated with the issues of eating problems.
Doing this helps you relax your mind properly and prevent the negative repercussions of these issues. It is very important to ensure that you subject your attention and conscious thinking into this to help eliminate the problems associated with eating issues.
6. Promotes Weight Loss
Yet another one of the amazing benefits of mindful eating is the fact that it helps promote weight loss in an unprecedented way. Given the fact that mindful eating prevents unnecessary overeating, it has also been found to be quite effective in helping through the process of weight loss.
Not just that, mindful eaters also tend to stick to a healthy diet which further helps ensure that you are maintaining your weight in an amazing way.
7. Beneficial for Cancer Patients
Yet another one of the amazing benefits of mindful eating is the fact that it helps in managing and handling the condition more for the cancer patients.
Experts suggest that practicing mindfulness while eating actually does help in regulating the symptoms and even enhance the healing process through and through.
Given the fact that mindful eaters are believed to consume a very nutritious diet loaded with beneficial fruits and vegetables, it is actually quite useful for the people struggling through and through with the associated risks of cancer.
8. Helps with Food Portions
Mindful eating has been found to be quite amazing in helping you consciously know and understand how much food you are eating. In simpler terms, it helps you become more aware of the portion sizes of the food.
When you become aware of the portions of the food, it does make it a lot easier for you to get in all the necessary amount of carbohydrates, fats, protein and the necessary bout of other necessary nutrients that is required by the body.
9. More Fun at Social Events
Yet another one of the amazing mindful eating benefits is the fact that it allows you to have more and better fun at the social events.
When you are mindful of the food that you are consuming, you are subjected to not just savour the food more but also help in ensuring that you have control over how much food or beverages that you are consuming.
What this does is help ensure that you can control your unnecessary cravings and the overeating of the foods that you are meant to have control over.
10. Helps You Enjoy the Food
One of the primary reasons why practicing mindful eating is beneficial of the fact that it helps you enjoy the food, without any kind of issues whatsoever.
It has been found that one of the primary reasons why people tend to struggle through and through with the lack of proper consumption of nutrition is because of the fact that they don’t enjoy the food that they are eating.
Being mindful and eating the meal slowly helps you connect with the food and appreciate and savour the taste to the best of its abilities.
All in all, when it comes to the importance of mindful eating, you are quite assured that the same will change your well being for the better. Not only is it good for your physical health, it does have impacts in boosting your mental well being as well without any fail. In here, we have mentioned and talked about everything that there is to know about mindful eating and the prospects involved behind the same.