Mindful eating is total awareness of what you consume while simultaneously forming a stronger and healthier relationship with your food.
In this post, I’ll be going what mindful eating is and 4 of its benefits and how you can start eating more mindfully right now.
So, let’s get started!
What is Mindful Eating?
I was first introduced to mindful eating on the Headspace meditation app on an episode of The Wake Up. The nutritionist went over what mindful eating consists of, the benefits and how it can even be more effective than your typical diet.Mindful eating is about making conscious choices when purchasing, meal planning, preparing and deciding what to eat. Click To Tweet
You may be wondering why a nutritionist was even talking about food on a meditation app. Well, consuming food through mindful eating is a form of meditation.
When was the last time you mindfully ate a meal with no distractions? That means you weren’t in front of the tv, or on the phone or talking to someone else or thinking about work or school.
When was the last time you sat down to eat and only to eat? To taste every flavor, savor the moment you have with your meal and feel the emotion and gratitude of having that food.
Related Post: 9 Ways Meditation Can Shift Your Mindset For The Better
Keep on reading and you’ll learn about 4 benefits you’ll receive when eating more mindfully and how you can start right now.
4 Benefits of Mindful Eating
And why would you want to start mindfully eating? Here’s 4 reasons:
1. A greater appreciation for our food, a deeper gratitude for your food.
You have the opportunity not everyone in the world has. You know how our parents use to tell us, “finish all your food, there’s a child somewhere starving”. Well, they weren’t far off. While they may have been doing it to guilt you into eating all your food, this is more about appreciating it. The more mindful eating you take part of, the more gratitude you’ll have towards food.
2. Creating and maintaining a healthier lifestyle due to eating purposefully and only answering to our body’s hunger signals.
Let’s talk about cravings for a second. We get them and most of the time, it’s junk food cravings. But when we eat mindfully, we start paying closer attention to the reasons why we feel like eating. Are we actually hungry? Is our body asking for fuel or are there deeper emotions making me want to eat? Mindful eating can prevent overeating and/or stress eating.
3. Having better digestion due to eating much slower and only until satisfied.
Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that food, while it’s a pleasure to consume, is our primary energy source and nurtures our bodies. While you mindfully eat your food, your chewing may slow down. This will give your body a chance to process the food in a healthier way and pass through your body much more easily. And since you’ll only be eating until satisfied, you won’t be putting your body through more work to store unnecessary fat.
4. Wasting less food, if any at all, since we’re more conscious about portion control and meal preparation.
When we’re being careless about meal preparation and cooking, we may be unaware of how much we’re making. (I’m a victim of making too much for one person, all that spaghetti…)
With mindful eating, we become more aware of the entire meal prep process, how much is enough and how much to eat or store for later. If we play the cards right, we won’t have unnecessary leftovers that most of the time go to waste. Portion control is another thing to keep in mind, going along with eating only until we’re satisfied, this will help in not wasting so much food.
How To Start Eating More Mindfully
There are multiple options you can try out when it comes to eating mindfully. I’ve listed a few that I’m currently practicing here:
- Dedicate one meal to eat without distractions, that means no phone, tv or work.
- Carefully make a grocery list ahead of time and plan your meals for the week.
- Plan snacks and snack times, and portion these ahead of time to prevent over-snacking.
- Romanticize food while eating, this helps build a stronger relationship with it.
Get Started with a Challenge Workbook
If you’re up for the challenge, I’m sharing my 7-Day Mindful Eating Challenge Workbook! You can either print it out or download it and fill it out digitally. Here’s what it includes:
Mindful eating is more than just paying more attention to your food while you eat. It’s about building a relationship with the food you consume and making purposeful choices when bringing it into your home and preparing it.
The benefits are endless too! Not only will you be making conscious choices, you’ll save money when grocery shopping, waste less food and listen to your body signals more closely.
And the beauty of it all is that you can start seeing the results right away. You can start small, maybe pay closer attention to the way something smells or the way a food makes you feel. Be intentional when it comes to cooking and using each ingredient. Or try eating at least one meal a day with no distractions.
Thanks for reading and happy eating!