In simple terms, mindful eating is eating with your mind. It is practicing an open-minded awareness of how the food we choose to eat affects our body, feelings, mind, and everything around us. This concept is more about how to eat, than about what to eat and what not to eat. Mindful eating shapes your brain into controlling most of your toxic food habits, such as over-eating, binge-eating, emotional-eating, etc.
Mindful eating also involves using all your senses in choosing to eat food that is, both, satisfying and nourishing at the same time. You, after a certain period, start acknowledging your responses to food without any judgements at all.
What are the benefits of mindful eating?
Along with controlling bad food habits, mindful eating also helps lose weight, balances Body Mass Index (BMI), helps cope with eating disorders such as bulimia, and helps reduce anxious thoughts about your body.
Being mindful can help you handle your emotions in a better way. Sometimes, people restrict or over-eat as a way to cope with negative feelings.
How to practice mindful eating?
- Let your body and mind concentrate on the food you eat.
- Respond to your body’s food needs.
- Eat with others at a set time and a set place. Or if you prefer to eat alone, that works too.
- Eat foods that are mentally satisfying and nutritionally healthy.
- Be fully present. While you’re eating, just eat. Avoid combining it with other tasks such as watching movies, playing games, and so on.
- Slow down the pace of your eating. Relish every morsel.
Mindful eating is basically creating an awareness surrounding the experience of food. With time, you learn to acknowledge this, and naturally start to lose your bad habits and move towards healthier eating habits.
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