Being aware of what you eat has many benefits
In our society, we love focusing on stress rather than mindfulness. We don’t like living in the now, we like thinking about the future and everything that can go wrong. We think of all the things we have to do, rather than what we’re currently doing, causing us to forget nutrition completely and settle for something quick and easy. That approach is failing us. We need to add more mindfulness to our day, and where better to start than with what we eat?
The benefits of mindful eating
Stop! Step away from the newest fad diet and consider nutrition. If you want to find more enjoyment in your life, more connection to what you put in your body, and reduce calories consumed, then mindful eating is what you need.
Many of the concerns people have with food and losing weight can be better regulated with mindful eating, by enjoying every bite, and by focusing on our food. We can see a significant decrease in the amount of food we eat, because we’re tuned in to our bodies, rather than going through the mindless motion of fork to mouth. We experience freedom from food cravings and the feeling of being controlled by our food. The practice of mindfulness will also improve our emotional state as it helps reduce the amount of stress we feel by placing us in the now and making wiser decisions about food.
Mindful eating can also help with:
- Binge eating
- Weight loss
- Reduced risk of diabetes
- Body awareness and listening to cues that we’re full
- Better absorption of nutrients
While there are many ways to practice mindfulness each day, eating mindfully has a lot of benefits most people want when they start a new diet.
How to eat mindfully
All of that sounds great, right? So how do you start? How do you find the time, and what do you need to know to start eating mindfully? Well, what you need to know is simple. Pay attention to your food and to the actual process of eating.
- Mindful shopping: Mindful eating begins when you make your grocery list and browse the aisles. Know what foods you tend to reach for when you’re past the point of hunger, and replace them with healthier alternatives. Decide which foods would benefit you the most and if you find you’re usually too busy to cook, set aside some time during the week to meal prep, so you have healthy alternatives at your fingertips.
- Mindful eating. Eating slower helps you be more aware of the process because it takes a while for your brain to register the signals your body is giving it. Your body may be full, but if we’re following the old habit of distracted eating, we may miss the cue until we’re so full we can barely move. Eating fast means once you’re full, there’s still food entering your system before your brain can stop your actions.
- Mindful timing. Throw a wrench in your routine. Eat at different times, and eat before you find yourself out of your mind with hunger. While working out with others has amazing benefits, try not to eat with others if you’re worried about distractions.
- Mindful motivations. Why are you reaching for the food? Are you really hungry, or are you bored? Many of us eat out of boredom rather than actual hunger, and when we eat out of boredom, we tend to make less than healthy choices. When you find yourself going to the fridge, ask yourself why, and then decide what your body wants, rather than what will taste good.
- Mindfulness. When you’re eating, actually eat. Consider the nutrients in the food and how it sustains your body. Try to find the different flavors in the dish. Count how many times you chew before you swallow. Take time to actually enjoy the food, rather than trying to get as much of the great taste as you can.
Mindful eating can be difficult at first, but once you get into the habit, you’ll love the benefits you experience. Luckily, you don’t always have to think about what you order. Fit2Go offers delicious, nutritious meals, cooked fresh and delivered to your office or home when you’re hungry! See what meals we offer, and how we can benefit your diet today!