Have you ever considered the frequency with which you make meal decisions or the amount of time you spend each day eating? Since eating occupies such a large chunk of your day, why not pay closer attention when you do sit down to a meal? When this occurs, practicing mindful eating may help you slow down the rate at which you eat and become more naturally aware to the food choices you make.
What does it mean to eat mindfully?
Mindfulness involves paying attention to one’s body movements, thoughts, and actions, in addition to being fully present in the present moment. It has been shown to improve both clinical and non-clinical diseases, and the act of present is what produces greater awareness of how we respond to various situations, emotions, and other people (Grossman et al., 2004).
Another excellent moment to practice mindfulness is when eating. By increasing your awareness of your whole eating experience, hunger, satiety, triggers, sensations, and thoughts of gratitude for the food in front of you, mindful eating may help you gain control over your eating habits. This tool is simple, but it has a tremendous impact.
Eating mindfully has been associated with a number of health advantages, including the prevention of weight gain and the treatment of problematic eating behaviors such as binge eating, emotional eating, and eating in response to external cues (Warren, Smith and Ashwell, 2017). It has also been established that practicing mindful eating may help persons who are prone to emotional eating build healthy eating habits, which can be a vital component of overall emotional health (Frayn, Mishits, and Knauer, 2018).
This five-step plan makes eating mindfully easier than ever before
If you’re eating too quickly or using food as a coping technique because you’re feeling overwhelmed by stress, it’s crucial to remember to pause, breathe, and savors the meal in front of you.
When eating, you should always be seated. As compared to eating while standing, the majority of individuals typically consume food more slowly while sitting. Turn off the television if you want to prevent being distracted while attempting to concentrate on anything else.
Kindness with a pleasant smile:
Who among us does not feel better after smiling? You will approach the meal with a sense of gratitude if you express gratitude for the food that is now in front of you. This is because you are conscious of the fact that not everyone has simple access to food.
Consider the food you’re consuming for a moment. Take a minute to savour the plethora of colours and flavours provided by the ingredients in your cuisine.
Are you able to discern the food in front of you based on its many aromas and subtle seasonings?
This phase of the 5-S Plan is frequently the most difficult since you will be focused on chewing thoroughly and savouring every bite of food. Develop the habit of chewing each mouthful for at least 20 seconds before swallowing. Wait to consume another mouthful of food until you have completed chewing and swallowing the current one.
It takes at least 20 minutes for your brain to recognise that you are full after you have done eating, so eating slowly may help you feel less hurried and more satisfied with your meals.
It may be beneficial to you and your relationship with food if you take the time to slow down your eating pace, enjoy the food and people in front of you, and savor the moment. You may put these recommendations for eating more slowly to the test over your next few meals to see which ones work best for you. If you’re having problems remembering the steps of the 5-S approach, all you need to do is focus on chewing slowly and savoring each bite of food separately.