Mindful Eating: Does It Really Work?
By Genevieve Cunningham
Most people really like to eat. Not only is it necessary, but eating can be enjoyable. The blasts of flavor, the many textures, the satisfying feeling when food hits your stomach. It’s wonderful! Of course, because it’s so enjoyable, many of us wind up with a few extra pounds. We have to restrict our calories and exercise in order to lose the weight. Or if you’re looking for an easier approach, you could look into mindful eating. Many have found mindful eating to be incredibly effective at keeping them healthy. But what is it and how do you do it? If you’re interested in learning the ins and outs of mindful eating, take a look at the tips below.
What is Mindful Eating?
Mindful eating simply means being fully present when you eat. Instead of mindlessly shoveling food into your mouth, you’re supposed to feel the texture, taste the flavor, and leave little room for any other thought. In short, be completely present for your meal. If you’re eating with friends, you can also fully engage in conversation, but don’t let your mind wander too far from the meal in front of you.
How Does It Benefit Health?
This might sound like a silly practice, but it can really work wonders. There are two big benefits to this kind of eating. The first is mental. Slowing down and enjoying your meal (every time) can really boost mental wellness. The second benefit is that of portion and calorie control. This method forces you to slow down, and most people find themselves eating far less food than normal. It’s a great way to become aware of what goes into your body and keep your diet as healthy as possible.
How Do You Get Started?
To get started in mindful eating practices, take it slowly. You might not be able to focus for an entire meal at first. Start with a snack. Be fully present for one snack per day. Notice the texture. Notice the flavor. Notice when you begin to feel full. Once you’ve mastered a snack, move onto a meal -- whichever you like. As you practice, it will get easier, and you may even find that you like the practice of mindful eating.
We don’t take much time to stop and smell the roses -- or in this case, to stop and taste the flavor! Try mindful eating in your life. You may find that your mental and physical health improve, and you begin to feel better than ever before.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Anaheim, Calif.