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10 Ways To Practice Mindful Eating

10 Ways To Practice Mindful Eating

Eating is a natural, healthy, and pleasurable activity for satisfying hunger. However, in our food abundant, diet-obsessed culture, eating is often mindless, consuming, and guilt inducing instead. Mindful eating is an ancient mindfulness practice with applications for resolving this troubled love-hate relationship with food.

Mindful eating is eating with attention and intention. It is eating with the intention of caring for yourself. It is also eating with the attention necessary for noticing and enjoying your food and its effects on your body.

As you can see, mindful eating is much more than “eating slowly, without distraction.” While it is certainly a major point or aspect of it, it definitely is not everything.

Mindful eating encompasses the entire process of eating:

– Awareness of your physical and emotional cues.
– Recognition of your non-hunger triggers for eating.
– Learning to meet your other needs in more effective ways than eating.
– Choosing food for both enjoyment and nourishment.
– Eating for optimal satisfaction and satiety.
– Using the fuel you’ve consumed to live the vibrant life you crave.
– This broad application makes mindful eating a powerful tool for developing a healthier, happier relationship with food.

1. Eat A Plant-Based Diet

Researchers at the University of Chicago estimate the Average American could reduce global warming by becoming vegetarian. It is certainly more helpful than buying a Camry or Prius.

When eating meat products, especially red meat, there is a greater chance of colon cancer and heart disease. Switch red meat and dairy to poultry and eggs one day a week as a beginning tool. This is good for both you and our environment.

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plant based

    2. Don’t Skip Meals

    Skipping meals makes it harder to make mindful choices. When hunger pangs strike, you are prone to grab whatever is closest to your hand. This can mean stopping at a fast-food restaurant or buying something unhealthy from a vending machine.

    Plan regular meals to help give a constant eating rhythm to the body. Do not eat fast, but eat slowly! This allows the body to process all that is going inside of you.

    fitness tip

      3. Chew Thoroughly

      Chew each bite until it is liquified. This can be up to 20 to 40 times, but it is worth it. Chewing helps the tongue and palate taste the food better and reduces the possibility of choking.

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      chew

        4. Avoid Overeating

        There is a huge difference between eating enough and eating as though you can’t contain the contents of the food you just ate. Mindful eaters practice the former so they do not overtax their bodies.

        Portion

          5. Eat Slowly

          Eat slowly so you know when you can stop before you eat too much. You will be surprised to find out in Chinese medicine, one is to eat until he or she is only 80% full in order to keep the digestive system working efficiently.

          eat slow

            6. Focus on the Meal

            Choosing to focus on the food or meal allows you to truly enjoy the eating experience.

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            focus

              7. Drink Water Before Eating

              When you drink a glass of water before you eat, you eat less afterwards and don’t put on as many calories. Plus, you remain far from dehydrated, and your body gets adequate hydration to keep you awake and full of energy.

              drinking-water

                8. Engage All Six Senses

                As you serve and eat your food, observe the sounds, colors, smells, and textures involved in your food. Do not just rely on the taste alone. When you put your first bite in your mouth, act as though this was the first time you tasted the particular food.

                Practicing in engaging the senses helps you enjoy the food.

                open mind

                  9. Honor The Food

                  Start the meal with five contemplations or whichever traditional prayer or form of gratitude you choose to prefer. The five contemplations:

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                  1. This food is the gift of the whole universe: the earth, the sky, numerous living beings and much hard, loving work.

                  2. May we eat with mindfulness and gratitude so as to be worthy to receive it.

                  3. May we recognize and transform our unwholesome mental formations, especially our greed, and learn to eat with moderation.

                  4. May we keep our compassion alive by eating in such a way that we reduce the suffering of living beings, preserve our planet, and reverse the process of global warming.

                  5. We accept this food so that we may nurture our sisterhood and brotherhood, strengthen our community, and nourish our ideal of serving all living beings.

                  greek vegetable

                    10. Rate Your Hunger

                    Know how hungry you are. Then, rate yourself. Eat according to how hungry you are. If you are not filled, eat a snack later on in a few hours. This helps you control your weight.

                    smile

                      Featured photo credit: mad for health via madforhealth.com.au

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                      Ramanpreet Kaur

                      Currently a student but don't know what direction to go in: Let us see if writing gets me anywhere :)

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                      Last Updated on March 25, 2020

                      How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

                      How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

                      When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

                      So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

                      1. Exercise

                      It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

                      2. Drink in Moderation

                      I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

                      3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

                      Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

                      4. Watch Less Television

                      A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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                      Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

                      5. Eat Less Red Meat

                      Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

                      If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

                      6. Don’t Smoke

                      This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

                      7. Socialize

                      Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

                      8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

                      Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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                      9. Be Optimistic

                      Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

                      10. Own a Pet

                      Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

                      11. Drink Coffee

                      Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

                      12. Eat Less

                      Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

                      13. Meditate

                      Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

                      Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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                      How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

                      14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

                      Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

                      15. Laugh Often

                      Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

                      16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

                      Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

                      17. Cook Your Own Food

                      When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

                      Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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                      18. Eat Mushrooms

                      Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

                      19. Floss

                      Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

                      20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

                      Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

                      Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

                      21. Have Sex

                      Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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                      Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

                      Reference

                      [1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
                      [2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
                      [3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
                      [4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
                      [5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
                      [6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
                      [7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
                      [8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
                      [9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
                      [10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
                      [11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
                      [12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
                      [13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
                      [14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
                      [15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
                      [16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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