It’s not just about chewing your food for an extremely long time…
If we breakdown Mindful Eating into its constituents, we have mindfulness and eating. To be mindful is to be conscious or aware of something, and in this case, eating. I like to think of Mindful Eating as coming into the present moment and fully experiencing that which I am consuming.
I believe Mindful Eating to be a practice of cultivating an open-minded awareness of how the food we choose to eat affects our body, mind, and emotions. To eat mindfully is to be in the present moment without judgment or criticism and with intention and awareness.
Mindful Eating is using all of your senses to choose food that is satisfying and nourishing to you and your body. It is about becoming in tune with your body so that not only can you appreciate it, but you can become aware of physical hunger and satiety cues that you may have lost touch with.
How many times have you mindlessly eaten your way through a bag of chips only to discover that they are all gone?
I’m going to guess that the experience has happened on more than one occasion AND that you were probably engrossed in something else entirely while eating said bag of chips (been there).
When you set an intention to be present with your food, you’ll need to eliminate the distractions that take you out of the present moment i.e. TV, phone, laptop, etc.
Listen, I'm all for multitasking but not when it comes to digestion! I highly encourage you to get rid of the distractions while you're eating. It's hard to listen to your body's fullness cues when you're scrolling Instagram. I suggest putting away your phone, closing your laptop and turning off the tv when you eat.
Eating is a single-task process.
I can feel your resistance! I’ve been there and sometimes I struggle to not work while I have lunch BUT let me tell you the payoffs of Mindful Eating.
You’ll actually experience your food and all its beautiful textures, tastes, eye appeal.
You’ll feel more satiated.
You’ll become more aware of your fullness cues. It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to send fullness cues to your brain. Being present during your meal allows you to become aware of these subtle cues much easier.
You’ll improve your digestion. Slowing down and being present with your food sets your nervous system into “rest n’ digest” mode, improving the digestive process.
You’ll create an awareness around your food choices – what are the driving motivators behind why you are eating. Is it true physical hunger or are you feeding an emotional desire? Being mindful invites curiosity and self-inquiry.
Ready to understand more about how to eat mindfully? Check out one of my online courses on Mindful Eating here.