Mindful Eating - What is mindful eating and how do I start?

With everything we do daily, the goal is to always remain grounded and in control. Eating is on the list of things we can consider being mindful of while doing. Mindful eating stems from the Buddhist concept of being mindful. Mindfulness is a form of meditation that helps you recognize and cope with your emotions and physical sensations. It’s used to not only ground you but to treat conditions like eating disorders, depression, and anxiety.

Why should mindful eating be important to me?

Eating has become an autopilot act. When food is near it seems as though there is a magnetic force to indulge even when you are not hungry or full. Sometimes people are not hungry when they eat, they eat because they see food. Sometimes stress and boredom play a huge part in the want for food. “Eating has become a mindless act, often done quickly. This can be problematic since it takes your brain up to 20 minutes to realize you’re full,” Healthline shares. Healthline also explains that when you too fast your brain does not catch the signal of you being full until it’s too late and that leads binge eating.

Mindful eating makes eating intentional! Healthline explains that “by increasing your recognition of physical hunger and fullness cues, you are able to distinguish between emotional and true, physical hunger.”

How do I practice mindful eating?

Eat Slowly: First off, the food is not going anywhere. Enjoy your food and chew slowly. Secondly, Your body sends its “Hey, I’m full” signal 20 minutes after the brain, which explains why we feel so full after eating or overeat. Chewing slowly can allow your body a chance to catch up to your brain and hear the signals to eat the right amount.

Don’t Multitask and Eat: Yes, no phones while eating. No running around and eating at the same time. By doing a million things at once you are not allowing yourself to listen to those body signals. Try eating your meal with no screentime and just conversation and slow chewing.

Eat Nutritionally Healthy Food: Unless you grow and cook your own food you have no idea what the food that you are eating comes from. Eating helps us get closer to Mother Nature which falls into becoming grounded. Animals get stressed and you eat that stress. “Stressed gut bacteria can activate stress in human hosts. Although generally regarded as safe, direct effects of consumed ethylene on the human body are poorly understood. It is noteworthy that, among other effects, the processing of food increases the levels of ethylene in our food significantly,” Worth shares.

Ethylene triggers a stress response in some of the same bacteria that is found in our gut.

Ask Yourself if You’re Eating Because You’re Hungry or Emotional: Too often, we eat when our mind tells us to, rather than our bodies. True mindful eating is actually listening deeply to our body’s signals for hunger. Are you hungry or stressed, sad, or angry?

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