Mindful eating may sound like another diet fad, especially around the New Year. Really, it’s a way of changing eating habits and focusing on eating without distraction. Although it sounds simple it can have a significant impact. Practising mindful eating correctly can help weight loss and improve digestion. Additionally, mindful eating can also benefit dining experiences by enriching them.
How to Practice Mindful Eating
- It may be obvious, but sitting down to eat is very important. During busy days, people will often rely on convenient, on-the-go food. Today, there’s so much variety that almost any type of food can be takeaway. Furthermore, people are often limited for time the food therefore is is eaten quickly; usually in an environment like work or the commute. In these situations, there’s no chance for an enriched dining experience.
- Eating slowly is another essential mindful practice. Allowing time to eat allows the brain to recognise when the body is full. This means that diners will be much less likely to overeat throughout the day, thus aiding weight loss. Moreover, slowing down allows time for savouring the food. As a result, it can be enjoyed more thoroughly thus making the meal much more fulfilling.
- Keep all electronic devices away. Smart devices are present throughout our lives, there should be some respite; phones are a substantial distraction. Meals require focus to be enjoyed. It is also just good practice to keep the phone away, especially if you’re not dining alone.
- If you are dining alone, doing so in silence every so often may is a good idea. People who eat by themselves often watch television or read whilst doing so. Although this may be a good way to relax, it is still a distraction. Eating in silence encourages deeper thinking during the meal.
- Stress eating affects some people. It’s extremely easy to mistake emotional hunger for genuine hunger. During stressful situations, it is better practice to find something more substantial than food to meet your emotional needs in that moment. Any other activity can work, such as simple as taking a short walk. The point is to distract yourself with something other than food. Emotional triggers of hunger lead to over-eating and potentially unhealthy eating habits that will be hard to break.
- Be aware of where your food came from and how nourishing it will be. Doing both will help form more positive relationships with your food.