Food is one of the basic needs of survival for man. There can be no life without food. Having said that, it is also important to control and monitor what you consume in order to keep your body in good shape. Eating can be of two types: mindful and mindless. Let us understand these aspects clearly.
Understanding mindful eating:
How many times have you caught the people around you or yourself eating only because you are bored, tired, have nothing to do or are feeling emotionally down? Almost all of us are guilty of eating unhealthy and ‘emotionally comforting’ foods at irregular time intervals which may not be good for our health.
Mindful eating is when you:
- are aware of what you are consuming
- take into consideration the nutritive value of your food, and what benefit it will provide your body
- eat at set times and places each day, and not just when you feel like it
- focus only on the food when you are at your meal
- eat only when hungry, or when your body starts feeling low on energy
Mindless eating is completely the opposite of mindful eating. It occurs when you have no control whatsoever on your own eating habits, and end up consuming more or less than needed. Over a prolonged period of time, this may have an undesired effect on your body. Practising mindful eating will go along way in keeping your health under check, and you will never have to worry about issues regarding food-related health issues.
How can you practice mindful eating?
Practising mindful eating is a process and, if you have always been a mindless eater, it will take you a little while to figure things out.
- Controlling your urges:
Every time you come across food and you feel like eating it, ask yourself if you really need to be eating at this hour? Does your body really need to take in food at this time? Chance are the answer is no. If that is the case, immediately refrain from consuming the food.
- Emotional instability:
Food items like chocolates, cakes, and shakes are known to be emotionally comforting and may give you a sense of happiness immediately upon consumption. But know where to draw the line. An occasional spree of eating such foods is fine, but relying only upon them for nutrition can prove to be bad for your health.
- Savour your meal:
When you sit down to have your meal, only eat. Don’t entertain phone calls and conversations especially when you are eating. Be aware of how much you have eaten and how much more you feel like eating. This way, your body, and mind will be put together, and your food will give better results in the form of your nourishment.
- Establish a routine:
Eat only at regular and set times each day. if you prefer 3 heavy meals, go accordingly. If you are more comfortable with eating 4-5 smaller meals, train your body accordingly. Whatever your eating preferences may be, establish an eating schedule, and stick to it.
Benefits of mindful eating:
Mindful eating is what our bodies respond well to. Once you decide to eat mindfully and keep it up, you will notice your body, your habits, and your lifestyle change for the better.
- Your weight will remain in control. You will neither put on excess weight nor be underweight if you are keenly observing your eating habits.
- Your body will learn to be much calmer and patient at meal-times. This way, it can be better at accepting your nourishing food.
- There will be no need to specifically go on a ‘diet’ or ‘monitored eating.’ Since you will be eating mindfully each day, your body will adapt to it and remain in shape.
- You can have better control over your emotions, and their impact on your eating habits.
Summing it up:
Mindful eating is a habit. It will take time and patience for you to learn and master this habit. But once you get there, you will never end up looking back because your body will be accustomed to the amazing experience mindful eating gives. Give it a shot, and you will never have to worry about health issues ever again.