Tips and benefits of mindful eating

March 12, 2020

Tips and benefits of mindful eating

It is now rare that we are fully aware when we eat. We eat in front of the television, at our office, watching our cell phones, or even driving. No wonder that our attention is not entirely on our food and eating.

What effects do these habits have?

Being less receptive to our hunger signals
By dividing our attention when we eat, we then become less attentive to the satiety signals which are sent to our brain. This can cause us to eat in larger amounts because we are distracted; We didn't realize that we were no longer hungry. Or, we can eat less than our real hunger because we are in a state of stress and lose our appetite. As an example, this can be the case of people who eat in front of their desks.

Eating too quickly = effects on digestion
Generally speaking, we eat too quickly. We don't take the time to chew our meals fully. The main consequence? The digestion. The first stage of digestion is actually in the mouth. It is in contact with food and saliva that it begins. If then we don't take the time to chew well, we skip part of this step, and we can then experience digestive discomfort.


Don't fully savor our meal
When we eat while doing something else, we cannot taste our meal 100%. Flavors, textures, and colors are toned down. Our meal is then less satisfying. It can also contribute to eating more than we are hungry for. Why?  Because we will have to eat more than usual for this to be equally satisfying.

 

Now: How do you eat mindfully?

It isn’t complicated to do. It only requires a change of habits.


1) Focus 100% on your meal
Do nothing but eat and preferably at the table. No cell, television, book, or other. It may be difficult at first, but it gets easier over time. It even becomes a relaxing and rejuvenating moment.


2) Take deep breaths
Take a break for a moment from the rest of your day. Take deep breaths to decrease your stress level, but also to relax your diaphragm. The diaphragm is the breathing muscle. In times of stress, it is often tense and will then have consequences on our digestion.
Relaxing before eating is a good idea!


3) Connect to our senses
Before starting our meal, it is important to take the time to observe the colors of our food and to smell the good smells. When eating, focus on different textures, temperatures, and flavors.
By doing this, your meal will automatically seem tastier! You may even tend to salt or eat less sweet.


4) Take the time
Eat more slowly and chew well each bite.


5) Connect to our hunger
Eat while listening to our hunger signals.

An exercise you can do to help yourself:
You make a plate much larger than what you usually eat (to avoid wasting, you will save the rest for another meal). Then eat slowly until you are no longer hungry. Realize if the portion you ate is different than usual. Do you usually force yourself to finish your plate even if you are no longer hungry? Do you take larger portions?


In the end, the important thing is to be in the here and now. Eating is much more than a simple action; it is what will give energy to your body and will have significant influences on your day. 

It’s worth paying attention to.

By Priscilia Vaillancourt

Writter at RAW Nutritional




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