What is mindful eating?
Mindful eating is a food philosophy that focuses on people’s sensuous awareness of food and their experiences with it. Mindful eating is paying attention to the food or drink that you are consuming. It entails paying close conscious attention to how food makes you feel as well as the signals your body provides regarding flavour, enjoyment, and fullness. You can practice it with any meal, and it’s a simple process too.
But what are the benefits of mindful eating? Let’s take a look.
The benefits of mindful eating
Enjoy your food. Often, we eat to live rather than live to eat. When you practice mindful eating, you take a moment to savour, appreciate and feel grateful for the food you’re eating. Your awareness is heightened and you begin to truly engage all your senses. With mindful eating, you put your phone and worries away and savour the taste in every bite.
Help in digestion. Mindful eating can help you slow down the pace of your meal as you enjoy your food. You eat slowly, respond better to your body and the food is savoured. Mindful while eating helps us chew more and connect with each bite, allowing you to chew your food 32 times before swallowing. This helps break down the food better and makes it easier for your body to digest.
Tuning into your body. This practice involves noticing how your body reacts and responds to the food you are eating. When you listen to your body and respond to the cues by chewing more, waiting for the food to cool a bit, etc, you are actually listening to your body and understanding it better. This awareness is key for better physical health and for appreciating yourself.
Reduced stress. When you eat in the moment and allow yourself to take a break from a busy schedule during a meal, you allow your body and mind to relax. As you relax, you give yourself a chance to slow down. This leads to a reduced heart rate and lower levels of cortisol (stress hormone) in your body. As a result, you reduce stress as well. This is why this is a good way to manage stress and take a break to clear your mind.
Prevent excessive eating. By tuning into your body and responding to cues, you’re even able to understand when you’re overeating or eating too little. Because you are aware of every bite, you notice when your stomach is full and can’t eat anymore. As a result, you’re able to stop eating when full rather than keep eating mindlessly, preventing excessive food intake.
Helps take a pause. It helps you take a pause from whatever is going on in your day and reset the mind. In case it’s been a hectic day at work, or if you’re in overdrive, the 10-15 of mindful eating helps you pause, take a breather and balance.
Mindful eating has many other benefits for your mind and body, while being an effective method to achieve mindfulness. It makes you more aware of your thoughts, gives you clarity and you can practice it for any and every meal! Take a look at our checklist on mindful eating now!
If you want to try, Evolve USA’s guided audio on mindful eating is the ideal place to start your journey. The Evolve US app is now live globally on Android & Apple, you can try for free!