Our lives can be this one constant blur when we need to rush to school or work or run errands throughout the day. Sitting down to have a meal leaves us feeling a bit distracted, thus we simply eat quickly without really minding the food that is in front of us. Unfortunately, not paying attention to what we are eating can make us eat more than is necessary because we often miss the cues that we are already full. This is why it is a good idea to start practicing mindful eating.
Mindful eating means focusing on each bite and chewing on our food slowly. In this practice, we try to pay attention to the taste, the texture, the smell, and others, as well as the cues that our body is giving us with every bite. How can you learn mindful eating? Here are a few steps to get you started.
Allow your body to catch up
In order for your mind and body to sync, you will need to learn how to slow down. Your body often sends signals that it is already full 20 minutes after your brain has registered it, which is why we have this tendency to overeat. However, if we slow down, our body will be able to catch up to what the brain is telling which means that you will be more aware when your stomach is saying that it is already full.
Get rid of distractions
Eating should be a ritual for you where there is no distraction to grab your focus away from the food that you are eating. This means turning off your TV and putting away your devices in the meantime. This way, you will be able to keep your attention to your meals which make your meal times more meaningful.
Pay attention to your body’s hunger signals
Many of us are guilty of being emotional eaters, where we tend to eat more because we are sad, stressed out, or feeling frustrated. In mindful eating, you will need to differentiate whether the hunger cues that you have are caused by emotions or because your body is really hungry.
Know what motivates you in terms of food
When asked to choose between eating healthy foods to consuming foods that make us feel better, we all know that many of us will be choosing the latter. Unfortunately, the comfort foods that we eat are not that healthy. However, in mindful eating, when we start really savoring the food that we are eating at the moment, then we get to appreciate the value of it, in terms of flavor and nutrition. Once we get used to mindful eating, we begin to cultivate a healthy eating habit.
Know when to stop
Another thing that you should keep in mind when it comes to mindful eating is to know when you should stop eating. If you notice that your stomach is starting to feel satisfied, slow down or stop. The same goes true when you are enjoying a treat. Once you are able to distinguish your body’s signs of satiation, the better it will be for you to control your eating.
Mindful eating takes time to learn. Some may find it difficult to do when with other people, but it can still be applied in special occasions. Learning how mindful eating works, just like being mindful in your day-to-day tasks can help you control your food consumption and be able to enjoy the food that you are eating without having to go beyond the feeling of being too full.