What Is Mindful Eating And How Can It Help You Stay Slim?
You’ve heard the phase the mindful eating. Maybe your best friend has recommended it to you. But what is it exactly, and how can it help you stay slim? In this article, Beauty and Tips finds out. Mindful eating might sound like a gimmick, a trend or a fad, but it’s actually nothing new. It’s been practiced in the East for centuries, where people have learned to pay attention to what they’re eating. This means they experience each chew as divine and savour each taste, and pay close attention to how much they’re eating. Mindful eating makes you aware of your sensations, feelings and thoughts as you eat. Your sole focus is on your food. Everything else – the television, your phone and so on – gets forgotten about. The more you practice mindful eating, the more you become aware of the following things:
- Why you want to eat?
- The emotions that make you want to eat
- The smell, taste, look, and feel of your food
- How full you felt before you started eating, as well as during and after?
- How you felt emotionally while eating?
Mindful eating – as you can probably imagine – is a bit of a skill that takes time and patience to master. Because so many of us are used to eating mindlessly, making the transition to mindful eating can be challenging. Sometimes, you might forget to eat mindfully. However, if you are determined to lose weight, you’ll be motivated to practice mindful eating, and the more you do it, the better you will get at it. As a result, you will stay slim. How does mindful eating help you stay slim? Let’s take a look.
You Start To Enjoy The Taste Of Healthy Food
As kids, when we tasted our first green, our natural reaction was to go “yuck!” We didn’t want it! We pulled our face and told our mom we wouldn’t be eating it. It tasted icky. But did it really taste icky? Or did we think it tasted icky because we’d already made our minds up that it spinach and lettuce was never going to be as succulent as a hamburger covered with relish? The truth is, it was the latter. When you practice mindful eating, you’re very aware of what you’re putting into your body. When you put junk food into your body, you become aware of the harm you’re doing to your system. It’s like putting diesel into a petrol car. You realise you’re polluting yourself, and this realisation can be enough to even put you off the taste of a hamburger! At the same time, you start to appreciate the benefits of eating healthier food. You start to appreciate all the nutrients entering your body, giving you energy, life, cleaning out your system and protecting you from disease. Over time, you’ll become so accustomed to the awesome benefits of healthy food so much that it will start to taste amazing.
Mindful Eating Helps You Separate Physical Hunger From Emotional Hunger
It’s not uncommon for someone struggling with depression or anxiety to eat more than usual. In fact, while some people feel physically sick and simply can’t eat when they’re depressed or anxious, others are quite the opposite and overeat. This is because stress causes our hormones to do crazy things. Often, we aren’t even aware that we’re indulging in emotional eating. But when we’re depressed or anxious, our appetites change. This can cause us to lose control of our weight. Mindful eating makes you keenly aware of the difference between eating because you’re actually hungry, and eating because you’re feeling emotional. When you practice mindful eating, the question “Am I really hungry? Should I be eating this?” presents itself. You also start asking if you’re bored or stressed, and whether or not you’re eating simply for the sake of eating. Mindful eating can be hard for those who are emotional eaters, because for the first time it demands that you near-constantly check yourself and ask questions. Are you still hungry, or are you taking extra bites simply to make yourself feel better? If you stopped eating now, would you be thoroughly satisfied?
Mindful Eating Makes You Realise How Food REALLY Makes You Feel
Ever felt guilty after a big slice of pie? Ever noticed how you feel really lethargic after eating certain foods? Or how about when you start to feel super hungry again not long after eating certain other foods? Different foods make us feel different things. But unless you start being more mindful about what you’re eating, you won’t make the right connections and join up the dots so that you can start making alterations to your diet, and thus lose weight. For example, a massive bowl of carbs can make some people feel pretty darn lousy. On the flipside, a plate full of fresh fruit, veg, grains and lean protein can make us feel energetic, positive, satisfied and good. Once you start practising mindful eating, you can start separating the foods that make you feel bad from the foods that make you feel clean, healthy and good.
Mindful Eating Gets You Thinking About Whether You Even LIKE A Meal Or Not
If most of us really sat and thought about a greasy hamburger on a plate, we’d probably decide that we don’t like it after all. It’s a disgusting brown colour, it’s saturated in fats, and it’s actually a gross dead animal full of dead cells. It isn’t really appealing. Now contrast that with a bowl full of fresh vegetables and grains that is bursting with colour, flavour, life and nutrients. From a purple beetroot to an orange carrot to a brilliant green avocado, the bowl makes us feel good just by looking at it. You can turn yourself onto the right foods and off the wrong ones simply by thinking a bit more about what is really on your plate, from its colours and texture to its nutrients and health benefits.
What are your thoughts about mindful eating?
Stay happy and healthy!