How many times do you sit and think about your food while you are eating it? I’m guessing not too many. Most times we are on the go, grabbing a meal or sitting in front of the television mindlessly eating away at a snack and before we know it, we have finished the whole bag of chips or cookies without even thinking or tasting. This is where many weight related problems can stem from such as binge eating or obesity.
Since we know all too well what mindless eating is, what is mindful eating? Mindful eating is basically becoming aware of your food and how it affects you overall. According to https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mindful-eating-guide#section1 mindful eating “relies on mindfulness, a form of meditation. Mindful eating is about developing awareness of your experiences, physical cues and feelings about food”. From this site, we also see that mindful eating is very involved if done right. They go on to say that mindful eating involves:
- Eating slowly and without distraction.
- Listening to physical hunger cues and eating only until you’re full.
- Distinguishing between actual hunger and non-hunger triggers for eating.
- Engaging your senses by noticing colors, smells, sounds, textures and tastes.
- Learning to cope with guilt and anxiety about food.
- Eating to maintain overall health and well-being.
- Noticing the effects food has on your feelings and figure.
- Appreciating your food.
When one slows down and thinks about what they are putting in their body it gives them time to listen to their body. According to https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/mindful-eating it takes the brain about 20 minutes to register satiety. Therefore, when you are eating to quickly you may not be just overeating, you may not be getting the full nutritional value of your food nor digesting your food properly. For your next meal try a simple mindful eating exercise like the one found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CCr5w3ox_4. Remember before incorporating any changes in your diet talk with your therapist and your doctor to make sure that this will be best for your overall health. Happy eating!
By, Garcsa Brooks
Olive Branch Counseling Associates, Inc.
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