Eating is one of the basic activities of life. Every day, each of us eats several meals that give us energy for the whole day. However, eating is not only a necessity, but also a great pleasure. Is there anything you can do to get even more from your meals? What is mindful eating and what are the benefits of using it?
What is mindful eating?
Mindful eating is the ability to consciously eat combined with reflection and focus on food. During the eating process, it is not only satisfying hunger that counts, but also consciously experiencing the stimuli that reach us. Thanks to it, we can discover the pleasure associated with everyday meals and learn to recognize our own needs and feelings flowing from the body. Consequently, we don’t overeat and we don’t feel guilty about consuming too much food. According to practitioners of the mindful eating method, one should listen to our body, and it will show us what is best for it. The topic may seem close to intuitive eating.
Basic principles of mindful eating
While the mindful eating technique may seem simple, it is actually a multi-step process that requires attention and learning to discover new stimuli. Following it can be difficult at first, and the satisfaction it gives may not be immediate. If you want to eat carefully, remember that you need to disconnect yourself from all external stimuli. While eating, it is not advisable to read the newspaper, listen to the radio or watch TV. Food is the time you spend tasting your meal, getting to know your body and being aware of the stimuli that reach it. There is also no room for rush and other factors that may cause your discomfort and distract you from focus.
The practice of mindful eating
Creating comfortable conditions for eating is only the first stage. Once your meal is on the plate, focus on it. Try to be aware of what you feel, what you feel like doing and what you think. Focus on the characteristics of the dish – its appearance, taste, smell, texture, and anything else that draws your attention. Focus on whether the dish tastes good for you and whether you need liquids during the process. What thoughts arise in the process? Think about how you eat and how long it takes you to consume the entire meal. Observe your body and try to capture the moment when you feel satiated.
The benefits of mindful eating
Although the mind-eating technique is just a passing fad for many people, following its principles can have many benefits in the long run. Thanks to mindful eating, you can get to know yourself better and learn what your body needs. By eating your meals slower and more thoroughly, you can easily improve digestion and prevent stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea and flatulence. What’s more, while eating, you can relax and get away from everyday life, which will allow you to regenerate. Mindful eating helps you appreciate these moments, learn to control how much you eat, and make better eating decisions.
Remember that conscious eating can affect your eating habits, but if you have doubts about the size of the portion you eat or the choice of products, make an appointment with a dietician.
Mindful eating - a way to change habits
Each of us is aware that under ideal conditions, we should eat our meals slowly, chewing each bite thoroughly. Unfortunately, in today’s world, due to the very fast pace of life, hardly anyone pays attention to it. We eat while walking, at the desk at the same time browsing the mail. So many stimuli reach our head that it is not able to fully register everything.
Rushing and chaotic eating are the cause of many unpleasant ailments from the digestive system, but also hunger and satiety disorders.
Conscious eating can be one way to combat unhealthy habits. By eating under controlled conditions, you will learn to eat your meals slowly and accurately. Mindful eating is also a much healthier alternative to all miracle diets. By focusing on the food sensation, you are increasingly opting for better-quality products and avoid overeating.
Mindful eating - step by step
If you want to try and eat carefully, make a simple trial first. Prepare a meal and place it on a plate. Sit comfortably at the table in a place where you are not distracted by any external stimuli, e.g. the TV set is on. Close your eyes and take your first bite of food. Experience it carefully and think about what you are feeling. Put the food with your non-dominant hand, and put the cutlery on the table top between bites. Try to feel the moment when you are full.
Living in constant rush, we often do not realize how many stimuli we miss. Conscious eating can be an opportunity to slow down and focus on yourself. Unfortunately, in the case of people who have never experienced similar techniques before, following the principles of careful eating can raise some problems. If you too, despite the attempts, do not feel the expected sensations, nothing is lost! Make an appointment with a dietician who will help you break down barriers, improve your relationship with food, choose the right products and feel satisfied with your food again. An apprenticeship under the supervision of a dietician is the best you can choose.
Author: Agnieszka Łaniewska