Benefits of Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is quickly gaining popularity and becoming quite popular with those people concerned with nutrition, healthier eating and even weight loss. By turning off the TV, parking your smartphone and creating an environment with no distractions, your attention is actually on enjoying the meal at hand.
Plus, while you are focusing on each bite and savoring the newly-discovered magnificent flavors, you’ll be thrilled to know there are many more benefits in eating mindfully than just experiencing tasty morsels.
Helps Reduce Emotional Eating
Throughout our lives we condition ourselves to relate emotions with food. Not a single person is exempt. Maybe your grandmother fixed eggs in a basket (on toast) with a big ole’ side of bacon upon your arrival every Saturday. The smell of bacon undoubtedly will still make you smile. And the desire to wolf down a handful of bacon whenever it’s available brings back the good feeling – Saturday breakfast with grandma.
Or maybe every time you got a good grade your dad would bring you to the local ice cream shop for a treat. That sweet smell of sugar in the air, cake cones and mint chocolate chip ice cream might put you over the edge.
On the other side of the coin, maybe you’ve inadvertently treated a broken heart or sadness with cookies or double bacon cheeseburgers.
Whatever the emotion, there’s a response. Sometimes it’s food. Mindful eating helps break this terrible habit as we begin to reorganize food as fuel. It’s still delicious, and we can’t ignore cravings, but the new fuel feels so much better when it’s intricately tasted and fully appreciated.
Helps Control Binge Eating and Other Eating Disorders
Have you ever ordered a pizza and before you knew it half of it was gone and you’re the only one eating it? Even though you are completely miserable, you still go back for yet another piece. It’s there, so why not? Mindful eating helps control these binges.
With practice and discipline, our mind is connected to our body when we eat. We pay more attention to the feeling of being sated and empower ourselves to stop eating. Part of this is the lack of distraction and the other part is being stronger in our choices and getting rid of guilt and anxiety over the foods we eat.
Helps Reach Weight Loss Goals and Creates Healthy Eating Habits
When you’re eating mindfully your choices and serving size actually improve. You develop a greater appreciation for nutrients and where they came from, take your time eating and then stop when you are full. Sugar becomes less of a need and powerful, healthy foods are what your palate desires.
Your mind listens to your body and asks for the foods to give it fuel instead of empty carbs that will just cause a sugar crash shortly after eating.
Aids in Digestion and Nutrient Absorption
This one is common sense really. One of the biggest concepts in eating mindfully is taking it slowly. Not only chewing every bite and tasting every morsel completely, but the mindset also that this process and way of eating takes time to develop properly and fully encompass. When you eat slowly instead of racing to the finish line your body has time to digest the nutrients you’ve provided.
Digestion is obviously better because your choices are changing for the better and taking your time in delivery. All systems are happy and functioning more efficiently. It’s a win-win.
These are just a few of the benefits of mindful eating. The list goes on and on. More and more studies are showing eating mindfully and this meditation style of eating can help reduce anxiety, depression and even diabetes. Eating mindfully provides the pathway for your mind and body team up and achieve an overall healthier lifestyle.