Saturday, September 22, 2012

What Is Mindful Eating

 Ever heard of mindful eating? Actually you hear it all the time. Be aware of your food and enjoy it. Pay attention to every single bite and not just eat for the sake of eating and filling up your hungry growling stomach. In other words, your food deserves your full attention just like a student paying full attention when the teacher is teaching.

Mindful eating can actually help you lose weight. You are totally in control of the amount of food you take. Compared to emotional eating when you eat every time you feel sad, lonely, depressed or stressed, you are subconsciously eating without actually realizing what and how much food you are putting into your mouth. Let us explore some of the common bad eating habits.

In mindful eating, you chew your food slowly and deliberately, marveling at its tastiness. Stop when you are almost full; never stuff yourself until you feel bloated with food. Learn to listen to your hunger cues. On the other hand, emotional eaters seek comfort in food and thus tend to overeat. For the emotional eaters, try at least to snack on healthy food such as fruits or even sugar free chewing gums. A better idea would be to get involved in some healthy activities every time you have negative feelings. Jump on your home treadmill and run until you sweat or go outdoors for a walk if possible. Call up a friend or even saying a prayer helps too. You can even try taking out your best cookware set, whip up a small portion of your favorite food and eat from your best dinnerware. By the time the food is cooked and ready, you would most probably be less emotional, and might not even want to eat it. Save your home cooked meal for dinner instead.

A friend of mine always cleans her house whenever she feels depressed. Out come her trusty Electrolux canister vacuum and before long, her house is spick and span. Looking with pride at her clean house always put her back in a good mood.

Skipping meals and eating at irregular times is another bad eating habit to avoid. Eating at irregular times is bad for metabolism and can lead to muscle loss over the long term. Besides, it is bad for your energy levels and this can cause a flaw in your attention span. Added to these, you might overeat at your next meal as you would be hungry. Try having small meals such as sandwiches, yogurt, mixed nuts or fruits if you really have to skip meals because of work commitments or for other reasons. At least, this helps to maintain your blood sugar level and metabolic rate, and thus a far more effective fat burning to keep you in shape.

It is also not good to eat in front of the television or while working at your computer. Remember, mindful eating ensures that you will stop eating when almost full. You must pay attention to what you are eating. No multitasking here! It also helps to eat from a smaller plate as it gives the illusion of a full plate of food.

Try to cook food that satisfies the sense of sight and smell. You will be more likely to savor your food and eat slowly, enjoying every mouthful. That's why restaurant food is always nicely presented to increase our appetite.

Eat smart the mindful way, enjoy your food, maintain your weight and good health at the same time. Life is so wonderful indeed!

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