Mindful Eating: A Healthy Relationship With Food
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The connection between mindfulness and food goes beyond the level of an individual. We may talk not only about how mindfulness affects our eating habits and relationship with food but also about how the food we consume affects the world.

In this article, however, we will be discussing the connection between mindfulness and food at the level of an individual. Continue reading to learn more about mindful eating, how mindfulness affects our eating habits, and what are some ways to practice mindful eating.
What Is Mindful Eating?
What Is Mindful Eating?

Mindfulness is our ability to be fully present. It assumes acknowledging and accepting the feelings and thoughts we have at the moment.

Mindfulness can apply to different aspects of our life and eating is one of them. Mindful eating implies having complete control over the food you are eating as well as all your senses at the moment of consuming food.

These are the key principles of mindful eating.

  • Listening to your body and understanding when you are hungry and when you are full
  • Building a healthy relationship with food
  • Appreciating the food you are eating
  • Using your senses – taste, sight, smell, and touch
  • Eating slowly
  • Cutting down distractions
The Benefits Of Mindful Eating
The Benefits Of Mindful Eating

Now that we have access to all kinds of different foods, it is important to stay mindful when you eat and when you shop for food.

What makes things worse, is that we all enjoy eating our meals while watching the TV or our favorite Youtube channel or simply scrolling through the Instagram feed.

At first sight, having a wide range of food options and the opportunity to enjoy them however we like is a good thing. But the benefits of mindful eating are greater. Here are some of the benefits of mindful eating.
Mindful Eating Promotes Better Digestion
Promotes Better Digestion
Practicing mindful eating is a good way to improve your digestion. Eating slowly and chewing food thoroughly ensures full digestion. Mindful eating can also help avoid bloating which is one of the most common digestive issues.

Helps You Understand Why You Are Eating
Most of the time, when we feel hungry we don’t question our sensations. We simply reach for food.
Mindful eating promotes questioning your hunger and understanding whether it’s physical or emotional hunger. Physical hunger is true hunger. You should pay attention to the physical cues of hunger and eat only when you are truly hungry.

Emotional hunger, on the other hand, is triggered by different emotions, boredom, and stress. This is not real hunger and practicing mindful eating helps prevent emotional eating. One of the greatest things about mindful eating is that it teaches you not to turn to food for comfort.
Mindful Eating Promotes Weight Loss
Promotes Weight Loss
Mindful eating promotes weight loss in a few ways.

Eating slowly increases fulness hormones. It also helps eat fewer calories. For those that have struggled with their weight in the past, overeating, or even gone down the road of weight loss procedures, mindful eating is an important way to reduce and, in time, eliminate emotional eating behaviors.

Helps You Make Wiser Food Choices
As soon as you start to eat mindfully you make wiser food choices. As a result, you start eating less of the food that is emotionally comforting and more of the food that is nutritionally healthy.

Mindful eating also assumes giving preference to food made from fresh and organic ingredients.

May Help Reduce Stress
The process of mindful eating, i.e. eating your food without distractions and enjoying every bit of it, is a very relaxing experience.

The process of mindful eating also activates certain parts of the nervous system and helps reduce anxiety and stress.
5 Ways To Practice Mindful Eating
5 Ways To Practice Mindful Eating
You can’t start eating mindfully in just one day because mindful eating is not a diet but a lifestyle. Here are 5 ways to practice mindful eating to achieve this lifestyle change slowly but surely.

1. Create A Shopping List
Shopping with a list is one of the most practical steps for starting to eat mindfully. Doing this seems easy until you have the urge to grab random food items when shopping in supermarkets or online.

When creating a shopping list include food items that have a high nutritional value.

If you have a problem making spontaneous purchases, make a meal plan for a week and create a shopping list based on it. Go grocery shopping once a week to lower the chances of buying unnecessary food that would distract you from eating mindfully.

2. Slow Down
Whenever you sit down to eat, remember to slow down. One of the key principles of mindful eating is eating slowly. Doing this allows you to enjoy your food and gives your brain enough time to catch up with you and let your body know that it’s full.

Mindful Eating Helps You Get To Know Your Body Signals

3. Chew Thoroughly
We could recommend you chew every bite nearly 25 times. But mindful eating is not about strict rules it is about learning how to eat your food slowly and with all your senses engaged. Keep this principle in mind and try to make it a habit.

4. Get To Know Your Body Signals
Whenever you feel hungry, take a moment to understand how you are feeling. Are you experiencing any physical cues that you are hungry? Is your stomach empty and are you feeling low energy? The longer it has been since you have last eaten the stronger will the signs of hunger be.

On the other hand, if you are feeling an urge to eat everything at once and you don’t feel satisfied even though you have eaten a normal amount of food, dig deeper into yourself. Try to understand what are the feelings and situations that make you want to eat.

Wanting to eat without being physically hungry causes emotional eating which is not healthy Emotional eating is not good for your health and may cause obesity. It may also lead to an unhealthy relationship with food.
Kitchen Organization For Mindful Eating
5. Organize Your Kitchen
If you want to make such significant lifestyle changes as starting to eat mindfully, you need to make some changes in your environment too.

You may not be able to consume food mindfully if you have food on your kitchen counter at all times and snacks in all your drawers and cupboards.

Organize your kitchen in a way that it inspires you to sit down and enjoy your food. And make sure you are only bringing healthy food into your kitchen.

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