What is Mindful Eating?: 3 Mindful Eating Habits

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You may be wondering, what is mindful eating? Ask yourself, do you remember the sensation you had while eating it or feeling your level of fullness? There probably has been a moment in your life when you sat down on the couch and accidentally ate the entire bag of your favorite snack while watching TV. This is the habit of mindless eating. 

Overeating is one of the causes of obesity. It is crucial to listen to what your body is asking from you. Eating when you aren’t hungry or to the point of being uncomfortable can be damaging to your health. The practice of mindful eating has helped thousands of people live more intentionally. 

What is Mindful Eating? 

Mindful eating is an approach to food that focuses on all the sensations of the food-eating experience. It has been recognized that it has little to do with calories or macronutrients but more with behavior change. It is not necessarily a diet, but the change can lead to weight loss if adapted. The main reason is to take control of food intake and savor the eating experience. 

Mindfulness is different than a diet. Diets are more rule-oriented, with specifics on what to eat and how much. When you eat mindfully, you focus on appreciating the moment of eating while staying tuned in to your hunger levels. You do not have to restrict intake since you choose how much to consume based on how you feel. 

Often times the mindful eating approach leads to people eating less, slower and selecting foods with higher nutritional value.  With today’s fast-paced society and countless food choices taking back your control while eating can benefit you in many ways.

Here are some habits to start your mindful eating journey.

1. Eliminate Distractions 

After a long day, you may look forward to sitting down and enjoying some snacks while tuning into your favorite shows. Although this may seem harmless, it can easily lead to mindless eating. 

When your attention is focused more on distractions in your surroundings than the food you are eating, you may not realize you’re eating the food or overeating more than you wanted to. Taking away the distractions at hand and fully paying attention to how the food tastes and makes you feel is the best step to take for mindful eating.

2. Stop Eating When You’re Full

Stopping eating when you’re full may seem like a no-brainer, but when distractions or disorders are involved, it is more complex than it looks. Besides overeating while watching your favorite shows or catching up on work, many have disordered eating patterns. Mindful eating can help improve binge eating, emotional eating or external eating. It can help distinguish between physical and emotional hunger. 

Mindful eating may effectively treat some disordered eating patterns with behavior change and apply skills to deal with impulses. Using a hunger satiating chart may help decipher where your hunger level lay at. It can also assist you on when it is appropriate to eat as well.

3. Don’t Rush Meals

Although we live in a high-paced society, try to slow down your eating time. When you eat is your time to tune into your body and enjoy nutritious food that provides the energy you need to get through the day. Eat slowly, taste the foods, and feel the sensation you get while eating.  Chew your food thoroughly and feel the emotion and psychical cues your body gives off. 

The Takeaway

Mindful eating takes practice. Don’t give up if it doesn’t work for you the first attempt you make. Healing your relationship with food is a process and developing new behaviors takes time. Gaining the skills to eat mindfully will be a powerful tool for the rest of your life.  

  

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