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How often do you find yourself eating meals with a phone in your hand or in front of the television? If you are frequently having meals with your attention diverted somewhere else, you are missing out upon getting the maximum from out of your food. Our eating habits determine the health of our bodies. Mindful eating is a practice that is being advocated by top fitness experts. Mindful eating is a practice that shapes how we eat what we eat. A few simple steps can transform the way you enjoy food and be very beneficial for your health too.
What is mindful eating?
Mindful eating is not something new or a new way of eating. It is something that we have been told as kids. Mindful eating is the practice of focusing solely on the food when eating without any other distractions. Eating mindfully involves active engagement of the senses of touch, smell and taste.
Although it sounds very simple a majority of people do not engage in this simple practice. Scrolling on the phone while eating, reading a book or watching the television has become an ingrained practice. When you eat mindfully, there is a focus on the portions you eat and you start to understand exactly how much you need to eat to get full. Mindful eating is a process oriented heabit that helps you enjoy your food along with many health benefits that come from this practice.
Reasons why you should eat mindfully
You understand your body better
It gets difficult to understand whether your body is actually feeling hungry or craving food due to other reasons like stresss. When you engage in mindful eating and concentrate on the food, you start understainding when you are getting full. This also helps you understand when you are actually feeling hungry or whether you want to snack because of some other reason. Understanding your body signals can help curb binge eating.
Helps in weight loss
Eating in a mindful manner can help you control your weight, The reason is becuase you start to have food in limited quantities and understand exactly how much you need to eat in order to get full. When you eat healthy and practice mindful eating, you will start losing weight since you cut down on excess consumption and the consumption of unhealthy snacks.
Aids your digestive health
Mindful eating involves eating your food slowly and chewing each bite properly. When you eat your food at a steady pace and chew it thoroughly, the work for your digestive system becomes easier. Mindful eating puts lesser pressure on the digestive system and aids yoru digestive health.
You enjoy your food even more
Mindful eating is an experience with food. When you focus on your food and concentrate while eating, you enjoy each and every aspect of the food you eat. Even if it is simple food, you can start appreiating the finer aspects of flavour in the food. Actively engaging yoru senses also helps you savour your food even more.
How to practice mindful eating?
You can start eating mindfully by following these simple tips:
Keep away all distractions while eating
Keep your phone away from the dinner table and keep the television switched off. When you eat, only focus on the food and feel every texture and enjoy every bite of it.
Chew your food adequately
Do not rush through the process of eating. Take small bites and chew your food atleast 28 times to break it down properly. You can pace your eating this way and also aid your digestive system.
Drink enough water throughout the day. A lot of times we feel hungry but it is actually dehydration which induces the feeling of hunger. When you feel like snacking, try having a glass of water to notice whether the hunger is satiated or not.
When you feel like snacking always go for healthy option instead of fried or salty food which easily induces bingeing. Carry dry fruits with you wherever you go as they are great for snacking and provides energy to carry on with your day.
Only eat when you feel hungry
Mindful eating is a process where you are on ajourney to understand your body better. Eat when you feel hungry and stay honest to yourself. Do you really feel hungry or do you want to eat to pass your time? Formulate an eating schedule and stick to it in order to exactly know when to eat.
Practice breathing exercises
Mindful eating involves concentration which can be difficult to achieve while eating. You can try focusing on your breath for 10 minutes a day through breathing exercises. This helps ease your mind and get into the habit of concentrating on your food.
Portion control is very important to stay healthy. Take small portions of food at a time and do not eat anymore as soon as you start feeling full. Your fullness is a telltale sign that the amount of food you ate for the meal was enough.
Mindful eating is a lifestyle change that is very easy to incorporate into your life. It requires no additional effort other than that of concentration. Eating mindfully can transform your outlook towards food and help you get healthier. The process helps you become more aware of the food you eat and also extends to awareness in other aspects of your life. Mindful eating is an effective method of getting the most out of your food and also appreciating what you eat everyday.