Even though mindful eating isn’t a topic covered as often as other types of mindfulness, it is one that can be important when it comes to helping you to lose weight. Mindful eating is a way to encourage you to become a lot more aware of the relationship that you have with your food. Many people have found it a great way to help them to lose weight.
Think about this, have you ever sat in front of your computer and plowed through a bag of chips or a stack of your favorite cookies and barely realized you were eating while staring at your computer monitor? If you have, you need to realize that gobbling your food is the total opposite of mindful eating. Mindful eating helps you take notice of what you are eating. Mindful eating helps you think about your level of hunger and learn how to savor your food instead.
What Exactly is Mindful Eating?
Believe it or not, mindful eating is an ancient practice as well as one that is practiced in today’s world. The who purpose is to help you become present for what you are eating and how you’re eating it. Mindfulness believes that food should be a blessing as well as a gift that deserves to be savored as well as appreciated. Totally different than the norm which is taking it for granted.
What Does This Type of Eating Entail?
The basic concept of mindful eating is to become fully aware of when you truly feel hungry and what hunger really feels like. Another important thing about mindful eating is that there is really no wrong or right way for you to eat. Every person has different eating needs that fit their personal, spiritual, physical, and emotional needs. It also depends on the circumstance and the situation a person finds themselves in. This means you more than likely will eat differently at home that you might on vacation for example. Mindful eating helps you become aware of the choices you make and not to let yourself become a slave to your habits. Mindfulness helps you to become fully aware of the situations and emotions that might trigger you to overeat and find alternative ways to handle these triggers.
Tips for Mindful Eating
Begin by opening up your refrigerator and make mental notes of all you see in it. Notice how you fee when you look at all the food there is. Consider picking up an item like a piece of fruit and examine it. Really take a long look at it and act like it’s the first time you’ve ever seen it before. Notice the size, the color, smell, shape, and texture. Now pick up something else other than fruit, you might pick up something in a jar or box that might be in the refrigerator. Note all the different things about it and any feelings that might arise when looking at it. Pay attention to the labels and read all of them out loud.
Another thing that you should do is eat something like a raisin and become aware of what you think about when you first look at the raisin and make sure to look at it closely before eating it. Become aware of how it feels and what it looks like. Become aware of the shape, texture, ridges and the smell of the raisin before eating. After you’ve done this put it in your mouth and not how it feels in your mouth before biting into it. Once you bite into it make sure to notice how it feels and tastes.
Thoughts are Allowed
No doubt you may be asking yourself why eat just one raisin at a time and why not a handful? However, you might discover just how satisfying it can be just to eat one raisin at a time instead of several. No matter what you think about it your thoughts are not judged on whether they’re bad or good. It’s all about noticing them and seeing them simply as thoughts and that can be powerful. It helps teach you that you don’t need to engulf your experiences and judgments but just recognize them as feelings and thoughts and nothing more.
Too many times people will get overly consumed by the desire to eat and totally miss out on the actual experience of their eating. Before you know it you’re staring at a plate that’s empty and often you don’t even feel like you’ve eaten.
What to Do if You Find Mindful Eating Hard to Do?
Just try to notice the weight of your food that’s on your utensil or in your hands and then try to slowly put your food in your mouth. Once you’ve done that stay focus on your chewing and then savor every single bite you take.
How Does Mindful Eating Actually Work in the Body?
Mindful eating is something that helps you learn how to eat properly such as how to chew properly and the actual timing of your meals. It also helps you to recognize the feeling of being full. When you eat, your stomach releases some parts of your food to your small intestines in short intervals. When your small intestines sense the food coming, it will release a hormone that’s called CCK or cholecystokinin into your bloodstream. This hormone tells your stomach to slow down the rate of release from your stomach. This hormone also tells your brain when you’re full and that you should stop eating.
When you eat too fast and don’t think about how and what you’re eating it doesn’t let your small intestines to keep up and the hormone isn’t released into the bloodstream and you won’t feel full. This is why it’s very important to slowly chew and eat your food so your digestive system has an idea of what is actually going on so they can release the right hormones and enzymes for the best digestion possible. When you eat slowly and mindfully you are going to always feel much fuller and when you feel full you will eat less and that, in turn, will help in your weight loss.