It’s safe to say that most people are in pursuit of health and wellness, with many trying to find new or different methods of eating to help them lose weight.
The Boston Medical Center reports that around 45 million Americans go on a diet each year, with 50% of them going on fad diets. However, the problem with fad diets is that their typically short duration doesn’t provide substantial results. What’s more, this type of dieting can be a very stressful experience, as it requires people to constantly count their calories or frequently check their weight. This can make things worse, as researchers from Ohio State University have found that stress can damage your metabolism.
Although it’s commendable to seek a healthier, better body, eating is a natural activity that should feel nourishing, not sinful. This is where mindful eating comes in, as it not only encourages nourishment, but it also helps you get in tune with yourself.
Mindful Eating Definition
So, what does it mean to eat mindfully? This is the practice of being fully present when you eat as you listen to your body, whether it’s telling you that it’s hungry or it’s satisfied.
In turn, eating mindfully encourages you to make conscious choices when it comes to the food that you eat, and how much, since you’ll seek what’s best for your body — and ultimately, your overall well-being. That said, here’s how and why you should practice a mindful eating diet.
How to Practice Mindful Eating
If you want to be a mindful eater, it’s important to understand the basics of mindful eating. Essentially, it requires you to be completely present, which is why you can start with mindful eating meditation to help you ease into this process.
This can be done by connecting with your senses so that you’re aware of your eating experience. From here, you should chew your food slowly, and ask yourself questions like “How do I feel eating this?” or “Am I really hungry for more or just gorging?” By developing this awareness, you’re acknowledging the needs of your body’s nourishment instead of just mechanically eating. And of course, it’s important to also follow clean eating for you to fully reap its benefits. In this regard, our post on ‘8 Rules for Clean Eating’ is an easy guide to work with.
If you ever have trouble sticking to the mindful eating practices above, then you can also turn to technology, as downloading a mindful eating application on your phone can help cultivate the mindful eating habit. Applications such as Mindful Eating Tracker and In the Moment are wonderful mindful eating resources.
While transitioning to this practice may not be the easiest process for everyone, it’s essential to make your health your first priority. This is especially important as Maryville University estimates that over 164 million Americans will be diagnosed with a chronic illness by 2025 — and one of the biggest culprits behind these illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes, and different cancers, is unhealthy eating habits. Therefore, mindful eating could mean the difference between being healthy and suffering from a disease.
So when you give your body the careful attention it deserves, it will reward you for treating it well. Mindful eating boasts a myriad of benefits for your overall health. These include:
• You acquire the discipline of eating until your body is satisfied — not until you’re sated and too full to move.
• You will consume food that is nourishing for your body, which can provide you with long-term health benefits like healthy organs and strong bone density.
• You can develop a faster metabolism, as Forbes shares that eating slowly can increase metabolic rates.
• Although mindful eating is not intended to be a weight loss technique, the eating habits you develop will help you shed some pounds.
Are you ready to experience the transformative and freeing practice of mindful eating, but not quite sure how to go about it? Check out our products here at Mindful Market, which include food, books, and even alternative medicine to help you incorporate this practice into your life.