5 Benefits of Making Mindful Eating a Daily Habit
Mindful eating is a practice that has gained a lot of attention over the last couple of years. Some people swear by it, while others ‘pooh-pooh’ the concept.
So, what is mindful eating?
In simple terms, it means paying attention to your body’s hunger signals and eating your food slowly and thoughtfully. In today’s rat race society, people just grab food on the go and gobble it down without much thought.
There are so many negative consequences to eating without much thought that one could write a tome on it. But that’s not what we’re going to do here. Instead, we’ll look at the benefits of mindful eating and why it could be one of the best habits you ever adopt.
1. Eat less
When you eat mindfully, you’ll be paying close attention to WHY you’re eating. Very often, people eat without much regard to whether they even need the food.
Walking down the street and see a hotdog stand? Great! Let’s eat a hotdog… or maybe two. There’s no plan, and one just eats based on sudden inclinations.
With mindful eating, you’ll usually eat at fixed times and only when you’re hungry. This will translate to lower calorie consumption and you’ll lose excess pounds in no time at all.
2. Thought process
The thought process that’s crucial in mindful eating will make you ask yourself if the foods you’re eating are helping or hurting you. This question alone will make you less likely to gorge on sugary or greasy foods.
While you may have temptations now and then, by being proactive and thinking before you eat, you’ll help to stave off most temptations and keep you on track.
3. Form a healthy relationship with food
Mindful eating will help you develop a positive relationship with food. By recognizing your real hunger signals and asking yourself why you’re eating, you’ll treat food as fuel and not a form of therapy.
Over time, you’ll eat less and be healthier. Your body doesn’t really need much food a day because most of us lead sedentary lifestyles. With mindful eating, your body will tell you how much calories it really needs… and the key to knowing is to listen to your body mindfully.
4. Reduces chances of emotional eating
As mentioned earlier, when food is used as a form of therapy, it can lead to a downward spiral. You eat to get a sugar high… which is just temporary before it crashes. And once that happens, you eat again to get another sugar high… and this process repeats itself throughout the day.
Often, people crave for foods high in carbs, sugar and saturated fats because these foods give them a sense of comfort and happiness. Once they get addicted to this feeling, they keep using food to feel better… and over time, they need more and more sugar to feel good.
This leads to obesity and a plethora of other health issues. Mindful eating arrests this problem by nipping it at the bud. The moment you start thinking about the food you eat and wonder where it came from and how it was produced, you’re no longer a creature of habit who gobbles down whatever is put in front of you.
Emotional eating becomes a thing of the past once you eat mindfully.
5. Eating slower leads to higher satiation
One of the requirements of mindful eating is that you eat slower. That means chewing your food and tasting it before swallowing. When you eat slowly, you’ll take longer to eat.
This is a good thing because it takes your stomach about 20 minutes for it to register that it’s full. This is one reason why people who eat fast often overeat and feel like they’re about to burst after a while. They’ve eaten too much.
When you eat slowly and mindfully, not only do you eat less, but you enjoy your meals more.
These 5 benefits alone make mindful eating an awesome habit to adopt and practice daily. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how such a gentle protocol can actually have such a profound impact on your life and health.