Did you know that on average each of us makes around 200 decisions about food each day? These decisions include not only what we choose to eat, but also when, where, why and how we choose to eat. And, in today’s world, we have more options than ever when it comes to answering these questions.
Practicing mindfulness when making these food-related decisions can have a positive impact on your overall health and wellness. Eating mindfully has been shown to offer benefits like weight loss, improved appetite control, and healthier eating habits. Let’s dive deeper into the topic of mindful eating.
What is Mindful Eating?
The idea of mindful eating is based on the Buddhist concept of mindfulness. This concept stresses the importance of staying focused on the present moment rather than getting lost in thoughts of the past or future. Practicing mindfulness and mindfulness meditation can provide many wellness benefits including improved emotional resilience, improved decision-making skills, and decreased depression and anxiety.
When it comes to eating, mindfulness can help you to gain control of your eating habits. Mindful eating teaches you how to recognize your body’s natural hunger cues which encourages you to eat only when you’re truly hungry. Eating mindfully also encourages you to make intentional decisions when deciding what to eat. Here are some key questions that mindful eaters should consider when making food-related choices:
- Am I truly hungry?
- What beneficial nutrients does this food provide?
- Where does this food come from?
How to Practice Mindful Eating
It’s easy to start eating mindfully. The most basic rule of mindful eating is to eat only when you’re hungry and to stop eating once you’re full. You should also eat slowly and avoid distractions like cell phones and TV while eating. Another key aspect of mindful eating is engaging your full range of senses. Pay attention to how your food looks, smells, feels, and tastes.
The Benefits of Mindful Eating
Mindful eating has been shown to provide many health benefits including:
- Weight loss. Because mindful eating encourages you to make better decisions about food, it can lead to weight loss in the long run. Since eating mindfully encourages you to choose foods that provide beneficial fuel to the body, you’re more likely to choose healthy, nutritious foods over processed foods that contribute to weight gain.
- Appetite control. Mindful eating helps you to control your appetite and eat fewer calories by encouraging you to slow down and enjoy the full experience of eating a meal. Slowing down allows your brain time to catch up and recognize when you’re satisfied.
- Better eating habits. Mindful eating makes it more difficult to engage in unhealthy eating behaviors like binge eating, emotional eating, and external eating (eating in response to your environment). This is because each of these behaviors tends to be impulsive, and mindful eating encourages you to slow down and consider your choices.
Mindful eating is one of the most effective ways to improve your eating habits. By adopting mindful eating habits like eating slowly, avoiding mealtime distractions, and staying present throughout the experience of eating, you can begin to make better food-related decisions.
Kendria Patterson is a freelance health and wellness writer and digital marketer. She has a passion for writing content that inspires others to live happier, healthier lives. Some of her favorite topics include nutrition, fitness, mindfulness, and self-care. Learn more about her online at www.kendriawrites.com.