What does mindful eating means?
The word mindful means being conscious or aware. Mindful eating is to eat consciously or in awareness. Simply, it means to pay attention to the eating process. Your whole being concentrating on the eating actions; from the shape of the food, smell, texture to the taste of the food. When you pay attention to what you’re eating, you get better food satisfaction, and are in control of what you put in your mouth. In fact, mindful eating is one of the meditation practices for mindfulness.
I’m not perfect. I love eating while watching TV or in front of my PC when I’m multitasking. I know they’re not good habits because often times I don’t get food satisfaction, and I tend to snack right after my meal. While I’m trying to break free from these habits and be more present during meal times, I thought I’ll share some tips on this subject. Let’s better ourselves every day.
10 Tips To Mindful Eating Practices
1. Love yourself
By loving yourself, you’ll only want the very best for you. Simple as that. Tell yourself “I love you” everyday. ?
2. Give gratitude
Give thanks to the food (source and preparer) and as well as the people you’re eating with before every meal. Not only would it makes you appreciate the food more, it also makes you pay attention to the now mode/present mode. There’s another secret; by giving your gratitude, you’re actually changing the frequency of the food.
While multitasking seems like a good skill to have, it’s actually the opposite. Multi-tasking makes one lack concentration (I can attest to this!). Whether it’s doing your job, brushing teeth or eating, single-tasking is the way to go. Turn off the TV, stash away your phone, keep the book away, don’t sit in front of the PC and keep the conversation at minimal. When having your meal, sit on a proper table and just concentrate on the eating activity.
4. Admire and love your food.
When you admire and/or love a man or woman, you would notice everything about him or her. Do the same with your food. Utilize all your 5 senses; see, touch, hear, taste and smell while eating. You’ll be more present than ever before.
5. Chew 30 times
I noticed that if I eat mindlessly, I’ll chew about 5 times and swallow. Ack, this is so wrong. Chewing at least 30 times helps break down the food (do you know that digestion begins in the mouth?), satiate you longer in contentment and fullness, and the food gets digested easily. If you have digestion issue, this simple act will help you tremendously (speaking from experience).
When is more is too much? What’s good for your body? Your 6th sense; intuition/gut feeling will always let you know. You just have to pay attention and listen to the voice in yourself. One way to enhance your intuition is by doing meditation.
7. Stash that guilt away
Don’t feel guilty when you want to eat something less healthy (eg. processed food or sugary treats). Eat less and enjoy the moment. The guilty feeling will not only ruin your experience, it can effect your mood and digestive system as well. So, stash that guilt away. After you’re done, go back to eating healthier meals.
8. Reduce emotional eating
Do you eat mindlessly just for pleasure or when you’re down? I sometimes eat for pleasure too because my mouth feels itchy. Tsk, itchy mouth is just what my ego thinks. Hahaha. ? Thanks to meditation practice, I’m now more present and am consciously aware of my choices. Still, I sometime choose to eat for pleasure. Remember tip no. 7? Stash that guilt away.
You need to instill self-discipline if you want to practice mindful eating. With that, again, meditation is the basic.
10. Positive thoughts
Whatever one thinks, will be manifested. So think positive thoughts, including the food you’re eating.
Whether you’re new or seasoned, I hope these tips will assist you in practicing mindful eating. The benefits is tremendous once you start doing it. Try eating mindfully today as it’s the basic way of life. Yup, we all once knew how to do this. It’s just that we’ve forgotten about it as we grow older.
Do you practice mindful eating? Let the readers know about the positive effect by leaving your comment below.