Mindful eating: Sit, Slow down and Savor

In our busy lives, we tend to forget enjoying our meals or pay attention to what we are eating. Since food is so important, why not pay more attention to it while you are sitting down to eat? Awareness while eating can help you slow down the pace and naturally make you more aware of your food choices.

Mindfulness – the definition

Mindfulness is a state of being active, aware and observing our thoughts or feelings without being judgemental. It is an art of being aware of the present moment and raises awareness of how we react to other people, stressors and feelings. It is a process-oriented behavior and a way of self-calming. A mindful approach to diet is not about rules and should be an individual experience

Mindful eating is an effective practice that can address unhealthy eating behaviors, such as binge eating or emotional eating. This conscious effort can have a positive impact on emotional eaters by developing healthier eating habits and stress reduction, which can be vital to overall emotional wellness. You learn to manage physical cues and learn to maintain in-the-moment consciousness of the food you intake.                              

Choose the 5-S plan for mindful eating

If stress is daunting, and you find yourself overeating or looking for food to help you cope with it, take a moment to stop and enjoy the food before you. Patience is the most important aspect of this process. 

Sit 

Make sure you always sit and eat. Slow down your eating process and ensure that you do not multitask while taking food. Distractions such as the television will not let you be conscious of your eating process.

Smile 

Always be thankful and smile when you sit to have food. Smiling and appreciating food makes you feel good, and you know that millions cannot afford food or do not have access to food.

See 

Breathe and look at the food you are about to eat. Observe the texture and color of your meal.

Smell

Feel the different aromas and seasoning nuances to the meal you have before you.

Savor 

Try to savor each bite of your meal by chewing slowly. Do not race through it and slow your process, letting the experience unfold. Trust your responses, your senses, and appreciate what you feel. You must approach your experience without any past expectations.

Since it takes about 20 minutes for the brain to know that you are full, the act of slow eating will make you feel less hurried and more fulfilled with your meals. This is a process that is entirely non-judgemental and in contrast to “diet-minded” or striving for weight loss. Willingly notice your responses and accept your experience at the core of the mindfulness. Understand the difference between emotional want and body’s needs.

Conclusion 

Try these tips over your next few meals to slow down, and see which ones work best for you. Your attitude of commitment towards regular and intentional effort is an essential aspect. When you can’t remember any of the rules to practice mindful eating, just concentrate on slowing down your eating process, take one bite at a time, and savor your meal. Developing an attitude of mindfulness helps people to enjoy the present moment and appreciate life as it comes.

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