Updated: Aug 14, 2022
Do you tend to eat on the run, or while multitasking? Do you maybe even play a game on your phone, watch Netflix or answer emails?
Maybe you're eating while reading this?
I think it’s safe to say we’ve all been there!
When we eat without being mindful about it, we are likelier to eat more than we need and we might not manage to destress and enjoy the moment. Furthermore, we might not be listening to our bodies and seeing whether we are actually hungry or just feeling sad, lonely, bored or the likes.
Mindful eating is when you are using your senses, both emotional and physical, to experience and enjoy the food in front of you. In turn mindful eating increases general gratitude for food and can improve the overall eating experience.
By eating mindfully you create an opportunity to become better aware of your internal and external emotions, cues and feelings. Mindful eating has been proven to reduce stress as well.
Here are some ways to eat mindfully:
When eating, listen to your body and don’t carry on eating after you feel full.
When you’re eating, see if you can just eat, and not be on your phone, watching something, answering emails or the likes. If you’re in the company of others, participate in the discussion at the table and put your phone away.
Consider where the different foods on your plate came from. Where did the food grow, who handled it, how was it sent to the store?
Eat slowly, putting your fork down between bites, chew well and make each meal last at least 20 minutes, even when eating alone.
Notice the texture, taste and shape of your food. Breathe in the smells.
When you feel like eating, ask yourself whether you are hungry (such as stomach growling, low in energy) or whether you are feeling sad, lonely, bored or such. If so, it might be your emotions ruling your eating habits, rather than your body.
Adopt an attitude of gratitude. No matter your religion/non-religion, it can be immensely beneficial to take a few deep breaths with your eyes closed before starting each meal, with or without a little prayer or mantra.
Why not try eating mindfully today? Start small and slow. Maybe just one meal and see how you like it.