In today’s fast-paced, technology-run society, we are slammed with busy schedules and long work or school hours. You might have so much to do and your planner might be booked with a list full of errands and things to get done throughout the day that you forget whether you’ve eaten lunch or not! When we’re so busy we sometimes forget to eat or we might not even have the time to enjoy our meal. With these habits, we may not be getting the right amount of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that our bodies need. Some of us may even scarf down our food so fast that we’re still hungry. By doing this, we do not give our brain enough time to process that we have eaten and are left with the lingering sensation that makes our body feel like we are still hungry. Mindful eating is a form of meditation based on Buddhist practices that helps us recognize what we eat, when we eat, why we eat, and help us be able to appreciate the food that we eat. By practicing mindful eating, we can change our eating habits and become more conscious about what we do with our food. There are so many benefits of mindful eating, here are some that we compiled for you.
- Reduce stress and anxiety
When you become mindful of your eating, you also become more aware of your emotions when you eat. This can help alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety by eating slower and practicing conscious breathing.
- Reduce overeating and binge eating
There are many people who overeat or binge eat, whether it be from stress, having lazy days, or other diet issues. Obesity is a very important epidemic in today’s society and conscious eating and meditation can help reduce the bad habits related to overeating.
- Helps lose weight
When you practice fixing your old eating habits through the practice of slow and conscious eating, thoroughly chewing your food, and taking note of its taste and texture, you are also practicing self-control. By building this control you can reduce fat over time and thus losing weight in the process.
- Helps cue your body
When you practice mindful eating, you are also sending your body the cues it needs to know, like when you should start or stop eating. Once your body recognizes the cues, it will adjust and can help you prevent from overeating or forgetting to eat when you are supposed to.
- Can help you manage your emotions
Do you find yourself overeating or not eating at all because of stress? Maybe something happened and made you feel upset or sad so you decided to go to the store and splurge on junk food. Practicing mindful eating can help better manage your emotions. When you’re more aware of the food you intake, you also become more aware of how you’re feeling. Are you feeling sad? Happy? Mad? Keep this in mind the next time you eat so you can know your body’s habits and change them if need be.
- Cope with chronic eating problems
Some people suffer from chronic eating problems such as anorexia and bulimia. Those who suffer from bulimia are known to eat excessively and then purge their food while people who suffer from anorexia tend to restrict the food that they intake. Being aware of how you eat and what you eat can help people who suffer from chronic eating problems through practicing the steps of being mindful.
- Helps with food portioning
Practicing mindful eating can help you become more conscious of how much food you are putting into your body and help you become more aware of the portions you feed yourself. When you become aware of your food portions, you can make sure that you are getting all of the needed protein, carbohydrates, and other substances that your body needs in order to stay healthy. You might also want to check out HFR’s article on Top 10 Tips for Portion Control!
- Promotes focus
When you are taking time to enjoy and thoroughly eat your food, you are also practicing on your focus as well. This can help you eliminate outside distractions in your everyday life and help you increase your level of concentration and focus on other things.
Next time you have lunch, try practicing mindful eating and going through the steps. Hopefully you will find it beneficial to your health in the long run!