Do you know what mindful eating is? It is to be conscious of your eating habits and the food you consume. It is to notice how the food makes you feel, and the way your body responds to the taste, pleasure, and fullness. Hence, mindful eating entails you simply acknowledge and agree instead of judging your emotion, feelings, and physical expression. So, it should be practiced while purchasing, preparing, serving, and eating food.
Why Is Mindful Eating Important?
Today’s fast-paced society entices people with a myriad of choices. Also, distractions have deviated people’s attention from real eating to TV, computer, games, and smart devices. When your mind is engaged somewhere else while eating, your brain takes 20 minutes more to realize that it’s full.
When you eat fast, you might not feel full unless you eat a lot. It is common in binge eating. However, when you practice mindful eating, your mind is alert which reduces your pace, making eating a deliberate act rather than an involuntary one.
Also, when you focus on your hunger, lust, and fulfilled feelings, you can better differentiate between emotive, real, and physical hunger. Besides, you also improve the mindfulness triggers that entice you to eat, even though you might not be hungry.
So, when you are aware of the triggers, you can better generate a gap between them and your response. Therefore, it provides you the time and liberty to choose your reaction.
Mindful Eating and Weight Management
It is a known fact that the majority of weight management programs results do not stay for the long term. Almost 85% of the overweight individuals who lose weight regain or exceed the original weight within a couple of years.
Hence, binge eating, emotive eating, external eating, and fulfilling craving have been associated with weight gain and regain after successful weight loss. Besides, if you are undergoing chronic stress, you tend to overeat and gain weight.
Many studies agree to the fact that mindful eating is the ideal approach to weight management as it helps modify your eating behaviors and lower stress levels.
A six-week group seminar conducted on “mindful eating” among overweight individuals stemmed in an average weight loss of 4 kg during the session and a three months’ follow-up period. Apart from this, a six-month occasioned in an average weight loss of 12 kg without weight increase in the following three months’ period.
If you modify the way you think about food, the undesirable feelings linked to eating are substituted with awareness, better self-control, and optimistic feelings. So, when you address unwanted eating habits, you can successfully focus on long-term weight loss.
How to Adopt Mindful Eating?
Start with Your Shopping
When you go shopping, you should evaluate the health value of every food item before purchasing. Also, you should avoid impulse purchasing. Load your shopping cart with healthful items and avoid processed and sugary foods.
Eat When You Are Hungry
Another way to mindful eating is to eat when you feel hungry, but make sure you should not be greedily hungry. If you have a habit of skipping meals, you may be excited to eat anything without considering its nutrition value as your priority is to fill your stomach. Hence, it may lead to weight gain.
Begin with Small Portions
It is always a good idea to limit the portions on your plate to nine inches or less.
Appreciate Your Meals
Wait for a few seconds before you start eating your meal, and try to appreciate your food and table. Inaudibly express your thankfulness for the chance to enjoy such scrumptious food and the people you are enjoying with.
Use all Your Senses While Eating
While you are cooking, serving, or eating a meal, you should be observant of its appearance, aroma, and taste. As you eat every bite, try to recognize the ingredients particularly seasonings.
Eat Small Bites
You should know the trick that it is always easy to enjoy the full taste of food when your mouth is less full. So, you should place your utensils among bites.
Properly Chew Your Food
You should properly chew your food unless you taste your food essence. Experts recommend that you should chew each mouthful at least 20 times before you swallow it in your stomach. You will be delighted to see all the flavors that are released.
Eat at a Slow Pace
Eating slow makes you feel fulfilled soon. However, if you eat at a faster pace, you tend to eat more as your fulfillment feeling triggers 20 minutes after you finish the meal. Always allocate at least 5 minutes to mindful eating before you converse with your table companions.
Mindful Eating Vs Binge Eating
When you eat a great amount of food in a short period, you tend to eat mindlessly. It causes eating disorders and leads to weight gain. A recent study revealed that almost 70% of people with binge eating habits are overweight. However, mindful eating may notably reduce the sternness and regularity of binge eating occurrences. Another study unveiled that a six weeks’ group intrusion in overweight women, binge eating occurrences reduced from four to 1.5 times each week. Also, the sternness of each episode was reduced. Hence, mindful eating can effectively help avoid binge eating habits.
How is Mindful Eating Helpful?
If you start focusing on how particular foods influence your body, you can make better food choices. For instance, consuming sweet cereals in the breakfast may make you crave the whole day while consuming a protein-rich breakfast will keep you fulfilled the entire day. So, if you remain attentive while eating, you are likely to practice self-control and better digest food.
Experts suggest that multi-tasking triggers stress in your body which may cause you to overeat. Stress not only triggers emotive eating habits but also impacts the way your body digests food. Hence, you should inhibit other activities while eating.