Mindful eating is a concept that has been around for thousands of years, but it’s only recently that it’s become more mainstream. Mindfulness is about being present in the moment and tuning into what your body needs to be happy and healthy. This can help you lose weight, feel more energized, and ultimately get happier with yourself in general. It may sound very touchy-feely or overly spiritual at first glance but there are actual scientific studies behind this practice that show how effective it can be.
What is mindful eating?
Mindful eating is about listening to your body and eating what you need, not what you want. It’s about taking the time to think about what food will do for your body, rather than just how it tastes. If we sit down and eat slowly, with no distractions around us, we will find that our brain can better recognize whether or not we are hungry or full.
The concept behind mindful eating
Diet with mindful eating is the practice of paying attention to your food and how it makes you feel. It’s not a diet, but rather a way of eating that can help you lose weight and feel better about your body, as well as more satisfied with your meals.
Understanding your body
In order to be mindful of your eating habits, you need to understand how your body works. Being able to recognize hunger and fullness cues is the first step in this process. Hunger is not an excuse for eating, but rather a signal that it’s time to eat. When you’re hungry, your stomach growls because it needs food but if you don’t listen or respond to this cue soon enough (or at all), then your body will start sending other signals: You may get headaches and feel tired or irritable; eventually, these symptoms can lead up to emotional eating and bingeing on junk food.
The best way to combat these symptoms is by learning how to listen properly when your body gives its warnings about hunger or fullness. If you wait until after those feelings have already come on before making a decision about whether or not it’s time for another meal, it might be too late!
How to practice mindful eating on a daily basis
- Eat slowly. Take time to savor each bite and pay attention to how it tastes, smells and feels in your mouth. By giving each bite the full attention, it deserves, you’re more likely to enjoy your food instead of feeling like you’re rushing through a quick meal.
- Focus on what you are eating. Instead of thinking about all that needs to get done after dinner or planning what comes next on your list, focus exclusively on chewing and swallowing as mindfully as possible!
- Pay attention to hunger cues. If you find yourself constantly eating when not hungry (and then overeating), take a moment before reaching for more food by asking yourself “am I really hungry?” If so, go ahead but if not, wait until the next time that sensation arises before getting back into the kitchen!
Disadvantages to mindful eating
- Don’t use mindfulness as an excuse to eat unhealthy foods. For example, if you’re trying to lose weight, mindful eating probably won’t help you much. It can actually make things worse. If you start eating healthier because of mindful eating and then realize that it makes you feel better, then it becomes easier for your brain to associate healthy food with pleasure and once that association has been made, it becomes harder for most people not to overeat or binge on junk food when they’re stressed or upset (which is why dieters often find themselves craving chocolate just after a breakup).
- Don’t use mindful eating as an excuse does not exercise either! Studies show that mindfulness meditation alone does not lead to greater physical activity levels in large long-term studies and in fact may even decrease them slightly when combined with other cognitive behavioral interventions designed specifically for this purpose (but not as individual therapies). So, if your goal is losing weight or getting fit, don’t rely solely on this method alone, instead look into other ways of being active while still enjoying what life has to offer!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article and learned something new about mindful eating. As we said above, it can be a difficult habit to form and maintain, but the benefits are worth it, so don’t give up! With time and practice, you will get better at identifying your hunger cues and regulating your caloric intake. In addition to helping, you reach your weight loss goals, know what you eat also improve your overall happiness by allowing you to enjoy the moment without worrying about what will happen next or feeling guilty about yesterday’s choices.