Undoubtedly, we’ve all heard the term “Mindful Eating” at this point. Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on the present moment through separately acknowledging thought, feelings, and sensations. These practices are being used more and more to calm anxiety, enhance meditation, and – you got it – improve eating habits. So what are the benefits of eating mindfully and how do you do it?
Why Mindful Eating:
- You eat more slowly. It can take your brain up to 20 minutes to realize you’re full, so if you eat too quickly your brain may not detect fullness until you have over-eaten.
- You become more in-tune with your hunger cues. People often eat for many different reasons other than hunger. Mindful eating helps distinguish legitimate hunger from emotional needs.
- You enjoy your food more. Taking the time to be fully present with your food allows you to taste it better and therefore enjoy it more.
- It helps you lose or maintain weight. Mindful eating changes eating behaviors and reduces stress or binge eating habits.
That all sounds great, right? Here are some exercises to practice at your next meal (and all your meals after!)
How To Eat Mindfully:
- Do a body scan before eating. What sensations are you feeling in your body? Are you actually hungry? Are you stressed? Make sure it’s the right time to be eating.
- Eliminate distractions. Sit down, turn off the T.V. and put away your phone so you can focus fully on your food.
- Eat slowly. Put your fork or spoon down in between bites and chew every bite thoroughly.
- Pay attention. Notice how your food tastes, smells, looks, and feels. Also focus on how the food makes your body feel.
- Stop when you’re full. Check in with yourself throughout your meal to determine your level of fullness. When you eat like this, you will be able to feel when you’re satiated!
Try these out at your next meal and notice the difference it makes!