3 steps to Mindful Eating and its benefits
Mindful eating is not about how many calories you get it but more about what you’re eating and why you’re eating it, what’s the benefit you get out of it.
Many times we do things for the sake of it. When it comes to eating, sometimes we eat just because we have food in front of us. Think about weddings, they bring you so much food you end up eating it just because it’s there.
NHS actually encourages mindfulness for mental wellbeing. Mindfulness is about being aware of what’s going on inside of us as well as what’s going on outside of us.
Whether we talk about mindful eating, walking or running, they all contribute to our mental and physical wellbeing.
There are many ways to be mindful. You can and should be mindful every moment of the day. But when “life gets in the way” we lose sight of what’s happening around and within us. It so easy to do that.
However we forget that mindfulness is an actual solution to our problems. When we are stressed about work, the only way to get out of a tough situation is to find the best solution. You find the best solution when you are relaxed, in the flow, mindful then you can get creative.
But we end up saying “I have no time to be mindful”. On the other hand we do have time to stress out without finding a solution to our problems. Isn’t that a waste of time?
You eat every day. How many times do you actually see your food, smell it, taste it? I mean really feel its essence. Not a superficial experience.
I will be honest with you, I’ve struggled with this. Since I was a child my mother kept telling me off for eating too fast and no chewing my food properly. I’ve been working on it myself I know it’s difficult.
Instead of giving you many things to think about when you eat I would like you to focus on 3 things only.
3 Steps to mindful eating and its benefits
1. Have a sit
I used to eat standing and walking. I used to do this many many times, and I’m still doing it sometimes. This is mostly due to lack of time and the fact that if I am not home I don’t like eating out so I eat walking to my next destination. But these are some the excuses we all use, especially lack of time. Not a very good excuse.
Sitting encourages you to eat slower and pay more attention to what you are eating. It’s a break in the routine which slows you down and brings you in the present moment where you can truly experience the moment you are in. Your mind is nowhere in the past or in the future..
2. Chew your food
When you are mindful about chewing your food, you feel its texture, its temperature, its taste. You are in the moment where you can feel, listen, taste, touch and see.
From a nutrition point of view chewing your food has many benefit, among them:
– your body has access to more quality nutrients from the food.
– your digestive system doesn’t have to overwork, as the food reaches it already well chewed, so less chances indigestion.
– it slows you down and you are more aware of what you eat and how you eat.
– more aware of how much you eat
– it takes about 20 min for the feeling of fullness to reach your brain. So by chewing properly, you will slow down so it takes 20 min to eat your food (or less of it) of 10 min, you feel fuller faster with less food.
When there are several things happening around you there is little chance you are actually paying attention to what you are doing, let alone what you are eating, why and how much. So you end up overeating.
When watching a movie or the news the flood of information affects us at a mind level but also physically. Depending on what you’re watching you automatically frown, tense your lips, your jaw, you start tensing your whole body. Experiencing the moment is out of the question at this point.
Physically you are no functioning properly, you are not relaxed and you experience nothing. You end up eating for the sake of it, no matter what, why or how much.
If you want to experience the benefits of mindful eating, you have to cut out all distractions as much as possible.
To fully experience the moment you need to actually be in the moment.
If you would like to learn more please download my free ebook “15 Healthy Habits for the Body”