Too often, our thoughts tend to wander elsewhere than where we are, especially when it’s time to eat! Mindful eating is becoming more and more popular in the world of food and nutrition due to its multiple benefits. This method helps you to maintain proper eating habits, and, in addition, has been shown to positively influence weight loss approaches to help you feel better and prevent eating disorders.
It is based on paying attention to and being mindful in all your experiences of eating: so involves an intensification of emotions, tastes, and physical sensations. It can help you enjoy a meal far more and therefore the tendency to overeat will be reduced, why? Because when you’re satiated, you won’t want to eat more just for the sake of it! Follow on for Mindful Eating: 5 Do’s and Don’ts for Beginners!
1. Eat Slowly, in a Calm, Peaceful Environment without Distractions
If we eat too quickly, the satiety signal may not arrive until we have eaten too much. In addition, we can better savour and enjoy the experience of eating.
2. Distinguish the Difference between Hunger & Appetite
Hunger is a physiological response caused by insufficient energy, appetite is the desire to eat for pleasure.
3. Consciously Engage all of Your Senses
Sight (colors and shapes of food), sound (textures), smell (fragrances), taste (perceive the primary flavors: sweet, salty, bitter, acid, umami), touch (texture, temperature).
It is important to know how you feel at that moment of deciding to eat; that is, are you in a hurry, stressed, bored, very hungry or hangry? Day by day, learn to manage your emotions. Feed an engram (positive affirmation or ideal) around food such as: I am grateful for all the food that passes through my lips and I will enjoy everything!
Eating directly from a shared plate does not allow us to fully appreciate the amounts we are ingesting.
In addition, when we’re aiming to eat less, smaller plate sizes is a good strategy, since they help us to visualize that the portions we eat appear larger. Also when the ‘eyes are bigger than the belly’, this psychological hack will prevent us from merely indulging a false, ravenous appetite!
So that everything continues to be done correctly, on the other side, it is also important that you know what you should not do!
1. Don’t Eat Standing Up
Refrain from eating whilst standing or when you’re on the go. It is preferable that we sit down to focus on the food we are eating. If we multitask while doing this, it will be difficult to concentrate and intensely appreciate the experience, and, in addition, it will be more difficult to control the amount of food we’re eating.
2. Do not get Distracted by Screens (TV’s, smartphone, tablet etc)
It is preferable to turn these devices off or put them in another room, or not have them immediately nearby. Those distractions also make us less aware of what and how much we’re eating.
3. Don’t Eat Everything on Your Plate if you Already Feel Satisfied
Most of us have been raised to finish everything on our plate, but, if you’re already feeling full, it’s better to stop. If you have food left over, and you can, it is better to properly store what is left over and enjoy it another time. Best of all is to assess your serving portion before you start to eat!
4. Don’t Hold Cutlery in Your Hands the Whole Time!
It is advisable to leave the cutlery on the table between bites to eat more slowly and savor the food better.
5. Don’t Judge Food
Although conscious eating does not require a food to be good or bad per se (although it definitely helps!) we just have to focus on the moment and our emotional appreciation.
Furthermore, mentally if we are thinking that a food is bad, we can generate a rejection and this could lead to anxiety and a lack of emotional enjoyment and control. Try to listen to your body’s real needs.
It should be noted that conscious eating is becoming an increasingly important subject in our hectic, busy lifestyles. This improved relationship with food is vital. For all these reasons, it is considered a great way to help people enjoy everything they eat and this positive energy helps establish real health, joy and happiness.
Have you tried mindful eating? Let us know in the comments below, and join in the conversation on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. If you want further insights on this subject, check out Mindful Eating: 3 Myths about Practising a ‘Mindful’ Lifestyle – BUSTED!