Curious about mindful eating? It’s a practice that’s surprisingly well suited for today’s world. Taking the time to slow down and really experience what you eat can transform your relationship with food. Here are five reasons why mindful eating is so important.
1.Mindful Eating is the Opposite of Mindless Eating: Mindful eating is the antidote to mindless eating. It’s the choice to pay attention to the foods you choose instead of just taking what’s easiest. It gives you the chance to appreciate your daily nutrition by fully experiencing the way it looks, smells, and tastes. By taking the time to truly focus on what you’re eating, you’ll have a richer, fuller experience. You’ll end the meal feeling more satisfied and ready to move on with your day.
2.Helps You Lose Weight: Mindless eating tends to center around junk food. There’s only so long you can fully focus on eating a bag of chips without feeling sick! When you eat mindfully, you lean towards foods that are healthier and lower in calories. You also eat more slowly, which helps you eat less. Both aspects lead to weight loss.
3.Helps You Separate Your Eating Habits From Your Emotions: Instead of eating when you’re bored, stressed, or worried, mindful eating encourages eating at specified meal times. You’ll end up eating in response to your body’s needs, not your mind’s. This sets you up for weight loss and a healthier attitude towards food.
4. Changes Your Relationship with Food: Instead of something you turn to for a quick burst of energy, food becomes a sensory experience. The more you enjoy your meals, the more likely you are to choose foods that are lower in calories and higher in nutritional content.
5. Easier Than You Think: To incorporate mindful eating into your life, start by slowing down. Pace yourself, chew more slowly and take breaks often to assess how full you are. Focus only on eating – remove distractions like smartphones and televisions. Choose foods that are pleasing to all of your senses, and eat in a place that allows you to experience what you eat fully. Make each meal a chance to take a small break from your day, and take the time to enjoy whatever it is you’re eating.
Your Next Steps: Look for mindless eating practices like eating quickly, multitasking while you eat, eating in response to your emotions, and eating foods just because they look good. Think about when and why you engage in these practices, then come up with ways to replace them with mindful eating. It may feel odd at first, but before long mindful eating will feel like second nature.