You are on a diet, and you are craving for something sweet, you open your refrigerator to find a cake, you decide to eat 3-4 bites of it, and before you even know, you’ve eaten far beyond what you were initially planning, and now you feel guilty. This may have happened to you several times. How can we change this? One way is by: EATING MINDFULLY.
What is Mindful eating?
Mindfulness is a Buddhist concept. It means to be conscious or aware of something. Thus, Mindful Eating refers to focusing on being aware of the food and drinks you put in your body and observing them for their look, taste, flavors, satisfaction, and overall effect on the body.
Mindful eating has been shown to promote weight loss by preventing binge eating and making you feel better by making healthy changes to your life.
On the contrary, mindless eating can cause weight gain, health-related disorders, and eating disorders.
How to know whether you are eating mindfully or not?
Mindful eating involves –
● Eating slowly
● Eating without distractions, such as T.V and mobile phones
● Eating when you are truly hungry
● Noticing colors, flavors, textures, and aroma of the food and its effect on your body.
● Appreciating your food.
Contrastingly Mindless eating involves
● Feeling hungry suddenly and requiring immediate satisfaction
● Eating in response to moods like stress or unhappiness, and craving for comfort foods
● Wanting to eat even when you are full
● A feeling of guilt after eating
Benefits of Mindful eating
It is by now clear that mindful eating is better and beneficial as compared to Mindless eating. Its benefits include –
1. Practice Mindful Eating to lose weight
Most of the weight loss programs and diets don’t work long term. People who follow diets regain the lost weight as soon as they discontinue them. But mindful eating can help by improving your self-control. It can change incorrect eating behaviors, leading to weight loss.
2. Reduces the urge to binge eat
Binge eating means losing control and eating a large amount of food in a short time. It can cause eating disorders and weight gain. Mindful eating can help control what and how much we eat, thus decreasing the occurrence of binge eating episodes.
3. Helps stop unhealthy eating behaviors
When you practice mindful eating, you’re able to make a change in your eating behaviors, such as eating when you are physically hungry, not overeating, eating without distractions, and preventing emotional eating that occurs in response to certain emotions and boredom.
How can you make a switch from Mindless to Mindful eating?
1. Switch FROM eating while watching television, laptop, computer, or your phone screen TO eating in silence and focusing all your attention on your food.
2. Switch FROM eating due to emotional hunger (such as stress, boredom, sadness, etc.) TO eating because of physical hunger.
3. Switch FROM eating fast food or comfort food such as ice-creams, chocolates, pizzas very often TO planning meals and eating them less regularly or eating healthy, nutritional meals and snacks. It is best to use a health and fitness app to get ideas on healthy recipes.
4. Switch FROM eating quickly TO eating slowly, as it takes 20 minutes for our brain to sense the feeling of satiety, thus, if you eat very quickly, you end up overeating before the brain realizes that you are full.
Also, it might be helpful to make some other changes to your lifestyle to reach your health and fitness goals, such as –
● Getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
● Take out time for exercise daily. You can also use a health and fitness app to monitor and track your physical activity.
● Switch FROM buying more of processed food items and grains TO buying more of whole and natural food items.
● Switch FROM using large-sized plates TO using smaller plates for portion control.
How to track your progress in Mindful Eating?
Keep a Mindful Eating journal or diary. Pre-plan what you will eat for which meal. Record how you feel after eating every meal. Keep track of hours you have spent being physically active each day. This can be made easy by using smart app Health Click Away.
The app Health Click Away can also help you lose weight naturally by helping you create diet plans according to your health and fitness goals. It also tracks your calorie intake and output. Health Click Away monitors your physical activity, and you can also find a variety of healthy recipes along with their macronutrient composition.
Choose Mindful over Mindless eating, Choose Health Click Away!