Food is the basic necessity of every living being. Life is simply a quest for food in order to survive, nurture and reproduce. However, as the world progresses over time,so do our basic needs. Now, for most of us food is easily available so we hardly pay any attention to the food we eat. Thus, eating food is a mindless job for most of us. We are just eating regardless of whether we are hungry or not. Hence, there are no dedicated mealtimes in our schedule. We eat food while watching movies, browsing through phones, in front of laptops while working or while commuting to the office/home. Consequently, this busy lifestyle has conferred us with many diseases such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension etc.
Eating is not only nourishing for the body, but also for the mind.Thich Nhat Hanh, How to Eat
What we all need is to be fully aware of our food as we buy, cook and consume it. This is what mindful eating teaches us, it’s no rocket science but a healthy lifestyle change that is direly needed.
Mindful eating is deliberately paying full attention to what you are eating or drinking, without criticism or judgement.Jan Chozen Bays
Let me elaborate the concept of mindful eating.
What is mindful eating?
It is practice that makes us observe the food we eat, subsequently feeling the sign our body experiences regarding the taste, satisfaction and fullness. It allows us to be aware of the food we are putting in our body and the satisfaction it gives us.
Furthermore, mindful eating is neither a diet plan nor a food rule. It is not about counting the calories, carbohydrates or proteins we intake. Besides, it is a lifestyle that is not driven by outcome but by the process itself.
When you bow, you should just bow; when you sit, you should just sit; when you eat, you should just eat.Shunryu Suzuki
Weight loss and mindful eating
It is a well known fact that any diet plan is not a 100% effective solution for weight loss. A particular diet plan may work for your body for a short term. However, the same diet plan may prove to be futile in the long run. This is because firstly, our body has the tendency to adapt to changes. Secondly, metabolism varies significantly from person to person.
While when we eat without any distraction, observing each bite we take our body will itself signal when to stop. Accordingly, helping us to differentiate between emotional eating and physical hunger. Thus, even though mindful eating is not a weight loss plan, it will surely assist your weight loss efforts.
Training your mind to be in the present moment is the #1 key to making healthier choices.Susan Albers
How to practice mindful eating
- Be a wise shopper and avoid impulsive buying: Observe what you are going to put on your plate.
- Eat when you are hungry: Learn to identify your true hunger calls and avoid binge eating. Eat when you have an appetite, but not famished.
- Eat in silence without any distraction: while having food turn off your TV, put your phone aside and focus on your food and yourself.
- Engross your senses: appreciate the food in your plate, observe the color, smell and taste of your food.
- Eat slowly and do not be in a hurry: chew your food slowly and take small bites.
Take a moment and contemplate what you are doing for yourself, for your body.
These materialistic achievements that are running behind will be of no use, if your body does not feel right.
Take care of your body. It is the only place you have to live.Jim Rohn