Did you know that when it comes to eating, how is nearly as important as what?
Mindful eating means paying attention to the way food makes you feel physically and emotionally and any thoughts that arise. It’s all about being aware in the present moment as you’re eating, without distractions.
Mindful eating is the act of eating while being in a state of non-judgmental awareness, shifting one’s attention to the food and mind-body connection. Thus, allowing exploration of the complex cognitive-biological experience of eating. This healing eating mode favorably affects problematic eating habits (e.g., desensitized hunger and satisfaction cues.) The intention is to help individuals savor the moment and the food and encourage their full presence for the eating experience. Eating mindfully can help allow us to connect with our bodies and enjoy food in an appropriate way and get clear about food choices and prevent “auto-pilot” snacking.
There is a deep mind-gut connection, and digestion involves a complex series of hormones communicating to the brain. In fact, during eating, it takes about 20 minutes for our brain to register satiety and fullness. Mindful eating allows us to slow down our eating to appreciate hunger and satiety signals, as well as build a focused eating environment, limiting external distractions or non-hunger based eating (such as eating in response to an emotional cue).
Practicing mindful eating can help improve digestion, increase satisfaction, promote thoughtful meals and portion, and support better meal balance. Here are some tips to get started:
Takeaway: There is a lot of noise trends out there about trends and diets. The more important life lesson is what can help you create a healthier relationship with the food you eat.
Some more resources:
https://www.mindful.org/6-ways-practice-mindful-eating/ (Informal mindfulness practices for those of us who don’t have five minutes to contemplate a raisin).