When was the last time you paid attention to your meal, savoring every single bite? If you’re like most people, that’s not how you eat. You probably eat mindlessly while reading emails, using the phone or watching TV.
You may think of mindful eating as a weight loss strategy, but it’s more than that. We can all benefit from paying attention to meals and eating more slowly.
The next time you eat think about the nutrients in your meal, where the food is grown, different ways of preparing it and so on. Doing this will teach you to be more present and eat more slowly. Note that this is just one of many ways to practice mindful eating.
Instead of devouring your meals in seconds, learn to enjoy the taste and think deeply about the food to reap these powerful benefits, from losing weight to getting more in touch with your emotions.
1. BEING MINDFUL PREVENTS OVEREATING.
You eat less when you eat mindfully. For one thing, eating slowly gives your stomach time to signal your brain that you are full. It gets you out of the automatic mode of overeating while watching TV.
2. IT MAY HELP YOU PROCESS YOUR EMOTIONS.
Do you eat junk food not because you’re hungry, but to fix your emotional issues? When you’re mindful, you’ll ask yourself important questions like, “Why I’m I eating when I’m not hungry?” or, “What emotions are triggering the eating?”
Asking yourself these questions will prompt you to look deeper into the root causes of your emotional issues.
3. MINDFUL EATING CAN PREVENT BINGE EATING.
You may feel helpless, if you are struggling with binge eating. Luckily, practicing mindful eating can help. Various studies suggest that mindfulness helps reduce episodes of binge eating and emotional eating.
The next time you feel the urge to binge, take your meal or snack and sit at the dining table. Try to eat it slowly and mindfully. Chances are, you won’t eat too much or feel so guilty afterward. Avoid eating on the couch!
4. IT TEACHES YOU TO LIVE IN THE PRESENT.
It is important to live in the present, especially if you want to be happier. Research shows that people are happier when they live in the present moment instead of letting their minds wander. Mindful eating can help you be more aware throughout the day.
5. MINDFUL EATING MAY HELP YOU DROP POUNDS.
While factors like hormones and inflammation affect weight loss, overeating is still the main reason people gain weight. Avoiding overeating through mindfulness will make it easier for you to reach your weight goal.
6. MINDFUL EATING MAY PREVENT STOMACH BLOATING.
Did you know that eating fast causes bloating and indigestion? You swallow a lot of air when you eat fast, which makes you feel bloated and uncomfortable.
The slower you eat, the less air you swallow. Additionally, chewing food thoroughly breaks it down into smaller pieces, which allows for easier digestion and nutrient absorption.
7. YOU MAY LEARN TO ENJOY HEALTHIER FOOD.
We are preconditioned to think that junk food is tasty and healthy food tastes awful. After slowing down, you will realize that junk food is not as tasty as you thought and healthy food actually tastes pretty darn good.
8. YOU MAY START TRUSTING YOURSELF MORE AROUND FOOD.
I usually advise people to remove all the junk food from the house, if they can’t control their cravings. You may not have to do that, if you start practicing mindful eating. You’ll start to trust yourself to make healthy choices no matter how many options are available.
9. YOU’LL HAVE MORE FUN AT SOCIAL EVENTS.
Once you master mindful eating, social events will be more fun than ever. You won’t have to worry about overindulging, since you’ll have control over what and how much you eat. Use these tips to eat mindfully at social events.