What is Mindful Eating?
Do you know what it means to practice mindful eating? Do you eat mindfully? Do you know why mindful eating is important? If you answered no to any of these questions, I advise you to keep reading.
Simply put mindful eating is a mental exercise that helps you get control of your eating habits. This concept sounds simple enough, but let us look at this it in more depth. There are typically two types of eaters in the world, those that live to eat and those that eat to live. However the practice of mindful eating has created a third group of eaters and they are reaping the benefits of this little known practice. The practice of mindful eating is a discovery of our own eating habits. This discovery allows us to make any necessary changes to our attitudes so that we are able to make better choices. When practicing mindful eating we learn to take cues from our bodies about when to eat. We are more mindful about what we eat for improved health. We are less likely to eat due to boredom, stress or any of the other unrelated reasons why so many mindlessly eat.
Do you eat mindfully?
To eat mindfully, we must first learn to taste our food. Slow down and really taste what you are eating. Take the time to chew your food. Ask yourself if what you are eating tastes sweet or savory; does it taste earthy or tart. Also, chewing your food properly serves two purposes. The first is to actually taste our food and the second is it gives us time to know when we have eaten enough. When it comes to food, developing a healthy palate is essential to truly enjoying what you eat. When you eat in a hurried manner your palate never learns how to taste food as it passes through your mouth too quickly. Another way to develop your palate is to eat one item at a time. A lot of people mix their food. When you eat two or three different foods together, you do not learn to distinguish the individual flavors each food item is contributing to the dish. Take the time to get to know your foods. Develop a healthy relationship with what you are eating. I realize this may sound odd, but you do not marry someone without first getting to know them, so why would you put things inside of your body that you know nothing about?
Why is mindful eating important?
Mindful eating can be beneficial for several reasons. By slowing down your eating process you are less likely to overeat. Paying more attention to what we eat can cause us to eat less processed foods. We are more like to eat whole foods. Mindful eating is said to help control eating disorders. While losing weight is by far the most popular reasons new recruits try mindful eating, the health benefits are the most important. As you get to know the foods you eat, you will likely find yourself eating healthier all round. You are less likely to snack on sweets or processed foods. Your intake of natural vitamins and minerals will increase. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables and nuts have been shown to help eradicate free radicals, thereby warding off disease. This practice of eating does not restrict or prohibit foods, but it does tend to help us enjoy the taste of natural foods. It also helps us change our way of eating for a healthier way of life. Do you need more reasons to give mindful eating a try?