Eating mindfully is an invaluable practice that can allow you to gain a richer experience from each bite you consume and may lead to healthier habits and improved digestion.
At first it may feel awkward but, with patience and practice, meditation can become an enjoyable practice. Here are a few tips to get you started.
1. It’s Not a Diet
Mindful eating is a lifestyle practice designed to teach you how to consume healthier while still enjoying all of the foods that you love. Mindful eating teaches us to use all our senses when eating and listen closely for body signals about hunger and fullness.
Your physical activity could also help you reduce overeating or binge eating, which can contribute to weight gain and other health concerns.
Mindful eating involves eating at times that work for you individually. If you tend to get hungry in the afternoon, for instance, try eating early so as not to become distracted by other thoughts.
Awareness can also help prevent emotional overeating, a problem many individuals struggle with. By becoming more aware of your emotions and letting go of those you hold onto, overeating can stop and you can start feeling better about yourself again.
2. It’s a Way of Life
Consuming mindfully has many advantages; it can boost digestion, decrease stress and depression levels, promote wellbeing, and even support weight loss.
Meditation can help you lose weight and establish healthier eating habits, all the while improving your relationships with food. Although difficult to master at first glance, its rewards in the long run make the effort worth your while.
Start eating mindfully by engaging all your senses and listening to what your body tells you about hunger and fullness, then enjoying every bite until it is time to stop.
Take the time to enjoy every step of the cooking experience as you create your meal – its aroma, taste, source and maker should all be considered in creating it for an enriching eating experience. By giving more thought and meaning into its preparation and consumption, your meal can become even more meaningful and provide greater pleasure when eaten together with family or friends.
3. It’s Healthy
Mindful eating can be an extremely powerful tool that can help break unhealthy eating habits, choose healthier options and bring greater enjoyment and gratitude into mealtimes. Furthermore, mindfulness allows us to pay closer attention to our body’s signals such as hunger or fullness levels.
Practice mindful awareness can be an invaluable strategy for people struggling with emotional eating, which can contribute to various mental health conditions as well as weight gain. By acknowledging and confronting your emotions head-on, mindfulness allows you to switch up your diet habits in ways that benefit both your physical health and well-being.
Eating mindfully means engaging your senses when eating – sight, smell, touch, taste and feelings all play an integral part. By paying attention to all aspects of the food you’re enjoying while eating mindfully you will enhance its enjoyment more and help prevent overeating.
4. It’s Fun
Mindful eating requires practice and may initially feel uncomfortable; but in time and with experience it will become part of your daily life.
Your practice can begin by focusing on one food item at a time and using all your senses to experience it mindfully. Perhaps try eating an apple slice while closing your eyes to focus on its taste, texture, temperature and sensations in your mouth.
Eat slowly and carefully chew each bite prior to swallowing it – this will help break down your food into smaller particles while stimulating vital enzymes that aid in your digestive process.
Mindful eating can also be used as a means to form connections with those responsible for producing your food, heightening awareness and appreciation for it. For instance, attending farmer’s markets allows you to appreciate all that goes into growing, processing and preparing it.