Many of us, because of obligations such as work, family and friends, constantly find ourselves eating mindlessly meaning we're not necessarily thinking of what we're eating, how much we're consuming and the consequences of our intake.
I'm sure that most of us can actually admit to eating less out of hunger and more to satisfy feelings of stress, sadness, anxiety...boredom *points to self*. Curious to know how to eat mindfully, keep reading!
Let's first discuss the benefits of eating mindfully. By slowing down and taking a moment to detach yourself from the craziness of every day life while eating, you tend to make healthier choices about what you're consuming and therefore, change your relationship with food. These choices may lead to healthy weight management, improved digestion, and a more balanced diet. The results of these changes may also produce a greater pleasure from the food you eat because you begin to appreciate your snacks and meals and begin to form a greater connection with the "journey" that the food has taken before it made it to your plate. This sounds crazy, I know, but trust me, as you start this journey in mindfulness, you will definitely appreciate those moments of intake.
So...how does one eat mindfully?
1. Engage and Employ ALL of Your Senses - How does the food in front of you look? Feel? Smell? Taste? How does it sound as it is cooking or being chewed in your mouth? Notice the different colors, textures and flavors. Take a deep breath and enjoy this moment.
2. Are you hungry or are you emotional? In need of a distraction? Or are you bored? - Tune into your body. Are you actually hungry. Eat when your body tells you to eat. Generally, you know when you're hungry. Your stomach may growl or your energy may be low. Try to distinguish whether your emotions are dictating your eating habits or if you're genuinely hungry because at times, it can be difficult to separate the two, ESPECIALLY when food is comforting to you.
3. Eat to Maintain Health and Wellness - Instead of eating foods that are emotionally comforting to you, eat foods that are nutritionally healthy for you and provide benefit to the lifestyle that you hope to achieve.
4. Stop Multitasking - Try to eat slowly and without distractions. Often, we become overly consumed with the things around us that we forget that our bodies are vessels that need to be protected. They deserve the care and consideration that we give to everything and everyone else.
5. Give Thanks - Show gratitude for the food that has met your plate. Be thankful for the hands that prepared it. Despite whether plants or animals were involved in the making of your meal, they had to go through some sort of growing process and journey to get to you safely. The goal is to have continued health following our consumption, so for this journey, we are grateful!
6. Eat Slowly - Eating slowly allows your body to process the food as well as send signals regarding fullness. Take deep breaths. Place your eating utensils down between bites. Savor every bite. Know when your body has had enough and end your meal.
Random: I started juicing and am interested in more recipes. Feel free to share in the comments!