Food is the one thing that binds humanity. All over the word, across centuries, food has not only been a source of energy and sustenance but a means to bring friends and family together. But, do we pay attention to what we are eating and more importantly, how we are eating? Most often, we don’t. Is it necessary to always go on a binging spree? We need to halt and think about how we eat. Moreover, today, time being a constraint, most often, we eat our meals in a rush, mostly skipping breakfast. But it’s important that we focus on our meals completely, which can help us develop good eating habits. In fact, ancient scriptures talk about mindful eating that can go a long way in helping us control them. Here’s all about mindful eating and why it’s important.
Mindfulness itself means being aware of the present moment and completely focussing on the task you’re doing. This technique helps us eat well, as a result consciously making healthy food choices. Essentially a spiritual practice, mindfulness is helpful and easy to follow in daily life. But first, if we want to adopt this technique in our eating habits, it’s good to know that there are no right or wrong ways about it. Also, there are different degrees of awareness that surround the overall experience of eating food. Keep in mind that mindful eating is not a diet. Rather, it is a way to pay attention to what and how we eat and hence improve our body’s natural ability to control our eating habits. The benefits of mindful eating are many.
Makes eating an intentional act
Your brain takes about 20 minutes to realise that it’s full. Eating too fast means this signal may not arrive till you’ve eaten a lot. This may result in binge eating. But, while eating mindfully, you become aware of your action since you’re eating slowly. Thus, it is an intentional act rather than an automatic one.
Helps enjoy what we eat
Eating slowly, chewing each bite well helps enjoy the sight, touch, aroma, texture, and flavour of the food. This way, you enjoy healthy food as you’re focussing on it entirely. Also, this technique helps us appreciate what we are eating as we learn to eat slowly instead of gobbling down our meals.
Helps differentiate between emotional vs physical hunger
Physical hunger is when your body gives you a signal of hunger. While emotional hunger is a coping mechanism to meet emotional needs such as stress, fear, anger, sadness, loneliness. Eating mindfully helps you become aware of the triggers that make you want to eat even when you’re not hungry.
Helps in weight management
As mindful eating involves focussing completely on the food you’re eating, it can help in managing weight. Since you are eating food slowly, feeling its flavours, it gives a proper signal of feeling sated. Hence, you don’t tend to overeat, and this results in managing weight better.
Based on mindfulness meditation
Mindfulness meditation is a psychological process where you focus on the present moment without any judgement. In mindful eating, since the attention is on food and being completely aware of it, you manage your emotional and physical sensations better.
Mindfulness in everything we do helps in being aware of everything around us. Keep the gadgets away, get away from the screens and enjoy your meals through the ancient concept of mindful eating.
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