As we emerge from self isolation, many of us may have found ourselves feeling a little heavier and more sluggish than before the pandemic restrictions began. This is understandable. Many of us were a lot closer to our fridge and dealing with the stress of uncertainty and a change in lifestyle. Nevertheless, it is a good reminder that healthy eating habits are an important part of our lives. They are also more linked to our thoughts than we are probably aware. This is where mindful eating comes into play.
What does ‘Mindful Eating’ actually mean?
Mindful eating is not a diet but a mindset. It is about eating to enjoy and savour food rather than for other reasons. If we aren’t thinking about why we are eating, we are eating mindlessly. Mindful eating makes you consider: where your food came from, how it was prepared, how and why you are eating it.
How do I eat mindfully?
Mindful eating is not necessarily a difficult thing to do but it may seem inconvenient in our fast-paced lives. Mindful eating involves: sitting down to eat; ideally, preparing your own food; and taking your time to enjoy every mouthful of food. Try and engage your five senses while eating. Eat until you are almost full. Question how you are feeling while you are eating. Are you eating because you are hungry or for another reason? Are you eating due to anger, stress, loneliness or boredom?
Do you eat mindlessly?
Do you eat on the run or on autopilot? Do you finish a packet of chips and wonder where they went? You could be eating mindlessly. Mindless eating is the opposite of mindful eating and can have you: grazing across the day, eating in excess, or wondering what you ate because you weren’t focusing on enjoying it whilst you were eating it.
What are the benefits of mindful eating?
As you can imagine, mindless eating can cause you to: binge, feel sluggish, make poor health choices and feel mentally and physically drained. Mindful eating, on the other hand, makes eating more enjoyable, gives you more of an awareness as to why you eat, and helps you appreciate your food from its original source all the way to your plate. It can reduce stress, lead to weight loss, prevent overeating, and allow better digestion.
Are you a mindless or mindful eater?