Mindful Eating – What is it anyways?
Mindful Eating is having an open minded awareness of the way to eat, observing food choice, portion and flavors with satisfaction. The practice is based on how to eat foods rather than being judgmental about good or bad foods. Mindful eating helps in reducing calorie intake and helps in making healthy food choices. It also promises weight control and glycemic control in diabetic population. It is mainly about focusing on the moment and savoring every bite with all senses.
How to Practice Mindful Eating?
Start with healthy food shopping:
The better way to start this practice is with healthy shopping. Buy products which are healthy, fresh and which add up to your nutritional value. Avoid impulsive and quick buying.
Plan ahead of your meals:
Plan your meals a day before or few hours before to help you stop from unhealthy snacking or grabbing quick meals. This will also help you to have a healthy and balanced meal.
Listen to your body:
The best way to decide what to eat is ask the body rather than the mind. Mindful eating is actually about listening intently to the body hunger signals. Eat only when you have good appetite. Do not delay till you are too hungry as it may not allow you to have mindful eating. Connect with the food you are going to eat and how it is going to benefit your body after ingestion.
Savor every bite of your meal feeling the taste, flavor of your food with all your senses. Do not gulp food in hurry. Give enough time to eat your food will help you to understand fullness of stomach. Take small bites and enjoy the moment of eating your food. Chew your food thoroughly about 20- 25 times before swallowing as it helps in making you feel contended and also helps in proper digestion.
Have a peaceful meal:
Give enough time to practice mindful eating. Sit down relax and have your meal. Do not talk while eating. Do not watch TV or engage yourselves in cell phones. Keep all your work and stress aside and have a peaceful meal time benefiting out of your meal. Eat in a settled environment.
Limit your Portion:
Before eating a meal, imagine the portion size and serve half of it. After you follow the mindful eating process, if you still feel hungry take some more. Limiting and mindful eating may help you maintain healthy weight and active body. Avoid having full stomach meal leave one quarter of stomach empty. This will help you to be more active and alert.
Do not treat food as stress reliever:
Do not react to emotional feelings which are different for each of us like stress, sadness, frustration, boredom etc by eating food. This can lead to obesity and other chronic diseases.
Mindful eating and Diabetes self management improves healthier eating, modest weight loss and glycemic control. Mindful eating is also used to treat chronic eating disorders, binge eating, anorexia and bulimia. It fosters a healthy relationship with food and lets you savor and enjoy what’s on your plate.
- Christian H.Jordan, WanWang, LindaDonatoni and Brian P.Meier. Mindful eating: Trait and state mindfulness predict healthier eating behavior. www.sciencedirect.com.
- Comparative Effectiveness of a Mindful Eating Intervention to a Diabetes Self-Management Intervention among Adults with Type 2 Diabetes: A Pilot Study. www.sciencedirect.com.
- mindful.org. 6 ways to Practice mindful eating.
- health.harvard.edu. 8 steps to mindful eating.