What are the Health Benefits of Mindful Eating?
Mindful eating is not a diet or a diet plan. Mindful eating is a form of meditation called mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the psychological process that helps you to acknowledge and manage your physical sensations and emotions.
Mindful eating helps us to put full attention on our meal by ignoring any distractions and make full awareness of our experiences, cravings, and physical cues when eating.
Some tips which help you to start eating mindfully
- Slow down your speed of eating, take breaks during every bite and chew food thoroughly.
- Pay full attention to the food by minimizing distractions such as TV, mobile phones, computer, or eating in the car.
- Always eat when you are hungry and stop at a comfortable level of fullness.
- Note your body signals of hunger and fullness.
- Use these notes to guide yourself on when to start or stop eating.
- Always choose the food that supports both health and well-being.
- Avoid processed foods and even remove them from your home.
- Eat quietly and thinking about the origin of that meal, from the sun's rays to the farmer to the shop to the cook.
- Be aware of your senses such as smell, taste, sight, sound, and texture of food.
- Without any judgment notice your responses to food (likes, dislikes, neutral).
If you follow all these tips, mindful eating will become more natural in you.
Health Benefits of Mindful Eating
Mindful Eating can improve our health, well-being, and change our relationship with food.
There are a lot of benefits of mindful eating such as reduce stress, depression, anxiety, and eating behaviors that includes overeating. Mindful eating also helps people to lose weight.
Mindful eating can help you to reduce stress and anxiety. When you start mindful eating, you become more aware of your emotions and feelings when you eat.You might eat more because of mental or physical stress. Then take your time while eating, take breaks during bites, focus on your feelings and try to catch the root of your stress, it will make you able to fight with your problems. You may join; Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy which will help in the reduction of stress and anxiety and further helps you to protect from other health conditions.
Better digestion and nutrients are very important for our body system. Poor digestion of food may cause various health issues. So it is important to take care of our digestive system.
Mindful eating improves digestion. When we eat mindfully it makes us to chew food more completely, due to this food easily digests and allows our body to absorb nutrients.
In Chronic Eating Problems
Some people have chronic eating problems such as anorexia and bulimia. Bulimia is an eating disorder in which person eat excessively and then vomit out food. While anorexia is a disorder in which person tend to refuse the food that they intake. Being aware of your eating habit such as how you eat and what you eat can help you to get relief from chronic eating problems. So Mindful Eating helps you to manage your eating habit by following some steps like taking time to choose, what you eat such as protein, carbs, vitamins, and other nutrients.
When you start Mindful Eating, it helps you to enjoy your food completely with focus and reduce stress. This can help you limit outside distractions in your normal life and improve your level of concentration and focus on other things.
Manage Your Emotions
Your emotions may affect your eating habit, sometimes you find yourself overeating or not eating.Your choice of food defines your mood. Following mindful eating can help you to manage your emotions by taking more time to chew your food and paying your attention to the odor, taste, and texture of food. When you are more informed of the food you eat, you also become more aware of how you are feeling (sad, Happy, or Mad).
Excess of calories can cause various bad effects on the body such as weight gain, fatty liver disease, certain cancers, and increases risk of high blood pressure. But when we start to eat mindfully, we take proper attention to what we eat and how to eat. It will help to reduce calories from our diet and make us eat a healthy diet.
Help to Lose weight
When we start to eat mindfully and pay attention to our diet it can help us to lose weight. Three steps of Mindful eating helps to manage body weight.
- We will become more conscious of what we eat and how we eat. These questions help us to choose a better option for food which is good for our body.
- Eating slowly and eating less, helps in better digestion of food.
- By being more informed with our body and by understanding the difference between cravings and actual hunger, makes us easy to practice eating only when we really need to eat. It will promote weight loss.
Reduce Overeating and Binge EatingObesity is very common in today’s society. Due to stress or having lazy days, there are many people who overeat or binge eat. Mindful eating helps to reduce overeating and binge eating. Conscious eating and meditation can help to change your bad habits related to overeating. Mindfulness meditation helps in treating weight loss, stress, and behavior changes related to binge-eating.
Reduces Food Cravings
It is very important to understand the difference between food craving and actual hunger. Many times we eat for different reasons other than actual hunger like boredom, by seeing other people to eat, to deal with emotions, etc. It may result in weight gain and other illness. So, by following Mindful eating and being aware of body helps us to understand actual hunger and reduce food cravings.
It could help with Cancer Patients
Some studies show that mindful eating with herbs in cancer patients may help them with their symptoms and healing process.
Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan
MD (ALT. MEDICINE) View Profile