• Deanne Panday

The Art Of Mindful Eating

Our eating habits greatly influence our behavior patterns , mood , mental and physical health.

In recent times , we either eat while scrolling and tapping our fingers through instagram or while binge watching Netflix.

In fact a recent survey revealed , most millennials purchase certain dishes only to achieve an aesthetic click which satisfies their social media-feed-needs but don't actually feed themselves. Ironic! Isn't it?

Since when did we loose the art of mindful eating? When was the last time you actually tasted the food you ate?

If you're puzzled , let me help you out.

Mindful eating is deliberately paying attention, being fully aware of what is happening both inside and outside yourself - in your body, heart and mind - and outside yourself, in your environment. Mindfulness is awareness without criticism or judgement.

Mindful eating basically refers to engaging all your 5 senses - sight , smell, touch , taste and sound , chewing your food slowly and relishing every single bite to its fullest

The physical process of chewing food in your mouth helps break down larger particles of food into smaller particles. This helps to reduce stress on the esophagus and helps the stomach metabolize your food. When you chew each mouthful properly, you also release a lot of saliva, which contains digestive enzymes.

And by practising mindful eating you'll learn to chew your food better as opposed to merely swallowing.

Mindful eating can help one in numerous ways - Let's see how!

1. Helps prevent over eating

Most of us eat even when we're not hungry. For some , eating is a hobby. For some it cures sadness but excessive eating can cause chronic health problems such as cardiovascular diseases , obesity and cholesterol. However, mindfulness while eating can help one eat lesser. Focusing on what you eat and how much you eat can help you take control.

2. Helps you enjoy your meals.

Mindful eating is not just good for the body but also for the mind. Focusing on the food you eat and relishing every bite can uplift your mood. If you're stressed while eating , you'll end up over eating. But if you focus on the plate and let other things aside , thought patterns shift which in turn can change one's mood.

4. Teaches you gratitude.

Someone once taught me "Gratitude is the best attitude" and I held on to that advice. Be grateful for everything including what's on your plate. Many of us tend to crib when it comes to food especially 'healthy food'. Mindful eating helps eliminating negative thoughts and enables you to enjoy whatever you're eating.

5. Helps in weight management.

Lilian Cheung, a nutritionist and lecturer at the Harvard School of Public Health expressed how being mindful when eating helped her lose weight in her book, Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life.

No matter what your weight goals are , mindful eating helps either way. Maintaining your BMI is possible through mindful eating. If you're aware of what you're eating and how much you're eating, you'll never really over eat again.

Want to practice the art of mindful eating? Here's how :

Mindful eating takes dedicated practice and here are few ways you can eat mindfully for good health -

• Honour the food.

• Engage all six senses.

•Serve in modest portions.

•Savor small bites and chew thoroughly.

•Eat slowly and avoid overeating.

•Don't skip meals.

•Eat organic.

•Don't waste food.

Turn your meal time into therapy and honor thy food !

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