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Mindful Eating Explained: How it Will Help you Lose Weight and Improve Your Life

By August 31, 2018Food for thought

Mindful Eating Explained: How it Will Help you Lose Weight and Improve Your Life

 

We live in a world where diet is a controversial topic. People follow many diets, many of which are very restrictive in nature. Most of us know the basic rule of making sure to have a complete meal with protein, healthy fats, vegetables and sometimes dairy and whole grains. However, most of us eat mindlessly and often in a rush. Unfortunately, this only adds to our struggles with obesity and other eating issues.  

Food is not something that can be avoided, which makes it is easy to find yourself eating whatever you like without minding its effect on your system. There is a new focus on the method of mindful eating.   

Mindfulness: What Is It? 

Mindfulness is a worthwhile tool from the meditation practice. It is also connected to religion and can help manage anxiety. Mindfulness is about concentrating only on the present moment with a focus on your thoughts. What is going on in your mind at the present? You should not draw conclusions or judge yourself; simply observe your thoughts.  

Practicing mindfulness is extremely calming and beneficial to your mental and physical health.  It allows you to quiet the chatter in your brain and to appreciate what the present has to offer instead of worrying about the unknown scenarios in your future or past.  

The Role of Mindful Eating in Curbing Obesity 

The obesity epidemic keeps increasing every day. Our busy lifestyles often make it difficult to eat healthy since unhealthy options are much more easily accessible.  

So, how does mindful eating help in the fight against obesity? It aids in adopting healthier eating habits, a factor that enables you cut extra weight. As a mindful eater, you are aware of your cravings. This way, you become able to manage them by refraining from them or eating a healthy snack. Mindful eating helps you to know your physical cues. These cues tell you when to eat and how much food you need to consume. They prevent you from overeating if you listen to them. Such cues go a long way in fostering weight loss. Additionally, it helps you to enjoy your food more, allowing you to become more satisfied with smaller portions.  

How Mindfulness Promotes Your General Wellbeing  

Apart from dropping excess pounds, mindfulness plays a crucial role in other aspects of your health. It has been proven to help people reduce psychological problems such as anxiety, depression, and stress.  

If you haven’t tried it yet, you should definitely consider including mindfulness sessions to your life. It could be helpful in making you a better, more productive person.  

How Do You Start Mindful Eating? 

If you are asking yourself this question, it means you are willing to improve your diet habits. Mindful eating is about: 

  • Eating (slowly) without distractions. 
  • Noticing hunger cues, eating just enough and not overdoing it. 
  • Identifying real triggers for eating (including emotional triggers). 
  • Utilizing your five senses: sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste to thoroughly enjoy your food. 
  • Coping with food guilt. 
  • Eating for nourishment and not just for pleasure. 
  • Knowing the effect of food on your feelings and general health. 
  • Enjoying your meals. 

When you eat slowly, you are able to pay attention to the meal before you. When beginning mindful eating, you are introducing a change in your life and it is important to embrace this change. Do not perceive it as an obligation. If you do, you are bound to fail in adopting the new practice. 

It is important to surround yourself with supportive people who believe in what you are about to start. They will encourage you along the way. Mindful eating ensures you enjoy every plate and nourish your body at the same time.  

Below are six pointers to help you start your mindful eating journey.  

1) Take your time, start small, and make gradual changes 

Don’t be in a hurry to achieve mindful eating. For example, begin with eating one mindful meal each day. After a week or so, you can make it two meals, and eventually three meals.  

2) Avoid noise 

Noise is a form of distraction. Consider eating in quiet places. They allow you concentrate on the food. You will have the peace you need to appreciate your meal and savor every bite of it.   

3) Eat slowly 

Learn to eat slowly. When you eat slowly, you give your brain time to communicate with your body that you are full. You will be better able to recognize the physical cues that say you are full and avoid eating beyond what your body needs.  

4) Take time to taste and chew food 

After you take a bite, let your taste buds tell you how delicious it is, take time to chew it. You may find this time wasteful but it is helpful. When you do not chew food properly, your body could have trouble digesting it. Gas and bloating are common digestion issues.  

5) Involve your senses  

Remember, mindful eating is about eating in the moment; with your attention on your food. One way to do so is to engage your senses. Let your eyes marvel at the tasty meal. As you chew food, try to figure out its ingredients. Identify the spices used in preparing it if you can. Enjoy the smell and taste. All these keep you in the present moment of eating.  

6) Appreciate your food 

Mindful eating also entails being thankful. Appreciate the role of food in your body. It nourishes you to keep you healthy and strong.  

How to Create a Supportive Social Environment 

Perhaps you have friends or family members that do not understand the change you are making to your eating habits but don’t be angry with them. Below are a few tips on how to discuss your new practice with your friends and family members.  

Talk to them about the importance of mindful eating. Give them reasons as to why you are starting it and ask them for support. Explain to them the benefits of minding what you consume.  

Educate them about mindful eating. Share with them something new and interesting about it. You never know, they may even decide to join you in your new practice. 

As you explain, teach, and educate your social circle, always be open-minded. Do not force your ideas on others. You will alienate them. Understand that people have diverse opinions about issues such as mindfulness.  

Engage your friends and family in your journey. For instance, invite them to an afternoon of mindful eating. Let them see what you do and how far you have come. This way, you bring them closer to you instead of living a separate life from them.  

Make use of social media and other networking groups. Look for mindful eating local groups and exchange ideas. Use social media avenues to meet people with similar goals virtually. Such groups provide you the extra support you need for a successful change.  

Summary   

Mindfulness is beneficial to different aspects of human life including how we eat. Mindful eating assists in curbing obesity and disorders linked to it. It is also great for your mental well-being and general health. This method of eating helps you abandon unhealthy mannerisms. It makes you aware or conscious about what you are eating and how you are eating for your wellness sake.