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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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              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.

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                  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 September 20, 2018

                      How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                      How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                      Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

                      If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

                      1. Breathe

                      The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

                      • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
                      • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
                      • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

                      Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

                      2. Loosen up

                      After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

                      Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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                      3. Chew slowly

                      Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

                      Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

                      Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

                      4. Let go

                      Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

                      The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

                      It’s not. Promise.

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                      Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

                      Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

                      21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

                      5. Enjoy the journey

                      Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

                      Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

                      6. Look at the big picture

                      The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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                      Will this matter to me…

                      • Next week?
                      • Next month?
                      • Next year?
                      • In 10 years?

                      Hint: No, it won’t.

                      I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

                      Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

                      7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

                      You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

                      Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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                      8. Practice patience every day

                      Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

                      • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
                      • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
                      • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

                      Final thoughts

                      Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

                      Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

                      Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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