Just Healthy Food Is Not Enough; Focus On Mindful Eating For Good Health

Stop whatever you are doing and take a nice, long, deep breath. Pause, relax and just be. How do you feel? If the answer is something like peaceful, happy, or relieved, you just experienced a moment of mindfulness. The Harvard School of Public Health defines mindfulness as “an intentional focus on one’s thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations in the present moment.” The beauty of mindfulness, apart from the peace it gives you, is that it can be experienced in not just traditional meditation, but in every activity you do. Mindfulness also exists when you eat your food. Simply eating mindfully can bring you multiple health benefits. Before discussing these benefits, let’s take a closer look at what it means to eat mindfully and how to practice it.

What Is Mindful Eating?

An article published in the US National Library of Medicine explains mindful eating as an approach to food that focuses on “individuals’ sensual awareness of the food and their experience of the food.” When we eat mindfully, we pay attention to our food, on purpose, moment by moment, without judgment. It has little to do with calories or how much carbohydrates, fat, or protein is in the food.
Also Read: Looking For Vitamin D-Rich Vegetarian Food? Here Are 5 Healthy And Tasty Indian Recipes

Here Are Some Tips On How To Eat Mindfully:

According to Healthline, here are the fundamentals of mindful eating:

  • Eat slowly and without distraction
  • Listen to physical hunger cues and do not overeat
  • Distinguish between true hunger and non-hunger triggers for eating
  • Engage your senses by noticing the colours, smells, sounds, textures, and flavours of the food you eat
  • Learn to cope with guilt and anxiety about food
  • Notice the effects food has on your feelings and body
  • Appreciate your food

Photo Credit: iStock

What If We Don’t Eat Mindfully?

If you do not eat mindfully, and instead eat mindlessly while driving, working, watching television or scrolling your phone, you may suffer from health complications. Distracted eating is associated with anxiety, overeating, and weight gain, according to Harvard. Let’s look at the health benefits associated with mindful eating.

Health Benefits Of Eating Mindfully

  • A 2017 literature review of 68 intervention and observational studies on mindfulness and mindful eating found that these strategies can help slow the pace of eating, promote greater control over eating and recognize feelings of fullness. The findings of the research were published online by Cambridge University Press.
  • A 2015 randomized controlled trial following 194 adults with obesity for 5.5 months studied the effects of a mindfulness-based intervention for weight loss on eating of sweet foods and fasting glucose levels. The subjects were divided into two groups who had to follow a diet-exercise program with or without mindfulness training (including stress reduction, chair yoga, meditation, and affirmations). After 12 months, the mindfulness group showed a decreased intake of sweets and maintenance of fasting blood glucose, as opposed to the other control group.
  • According to a 2021 review published in the ‘British Medical Bulletin’ journal, mindful eating can help in weight loss by changing eating behaviours and reducing stress.

Also Read: Can You Eat Fruits Post Sunset? 3 Common Mistakes About Fruit Consumption You Should Avoid

Note: Mindful eating is not a replacement for traditional treatments for clinical conditions such as eating disorders.

Source link

Leave a comment