Ever since the beginning of life form, food has been a significant part of development. Besides being a source of energy, it also has emotional values attached to it. Every celebration, every gathering is incomplete without food. Food plays such an important part in our lives, yet at times we are unaware of the food practices that are necessary to promote lasting health.
Food gives nutrition, and the right food practices make our body absorb that nutrition. Mindful eating helps us focus our attention on healthy foods and encourages us to go back and follow our traditional eating habits. Instead of suggesting diets, it encourages a meditation practice, termed as mindfulness. Mindful eating, a Buddhist concept, makes you aware of your emotions, cravings, and physical sensations. It helps in treating eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and food-related behaviors.
In today’s fast paced world, when everything is moving so fast, food is also being rushed. Most of us eat, while either watching TV or using a smartphone. Still some others consume their meals while being are or immersed in a book. Too often, we get distracted when eating our meals and don’t relish the food that is in front of us.
According to science, it takes our brain around 20 minutes to realize we are full. Most of us don’t give our bodies that much time. We go on stuffing ourselves with food, because our minds get so distracted with the other activity we are engaged in. This results in us overeating which ultimately leads to obesity.
Due to our addiction to social media, we have forgotten the pleasure of eating meals with complete attention.
Mindful eating is not a diet. It is an approach that asks us to simply remain present while cooking or eating and feel the food without any prior judgments, guilt, or opinions. It allows us to become aware of what we’re putting in our mouths and makes us mindful of the efforts behind eating, and thus sends proper signals to the brain regarding of our appetite and feeling of fullness, preventing us from overeating. Instead of making us spend time thinking about body weight, or “healthy food,” it guides us to our natural optimum weight, the weight which is right for us.
By focusing on the processes and the act of eating, we can transform our relationship with food, which means we have a better chance of understanding how different foods affect us, which foods nourish us and what foods are essential to meet the demands of the body. Noticing the feelings, the breath, returns our body to a resting state, aiding digestion.
Diet cultures are asking people to fit into specific measurements that have existed for years and are still prevalent. Majority of people, despite being healthy are still uncomfortable in their own body. People always want more. They always want what they see. Magazines glorifying plastic models and selling their “easy” weight gain/loss products heighten people’s insecurity about their body.
Food is no ‘trick’ or ‘treat.’ Setting boundaries around particular foods and resisting them increases our craving for those particular foods, especially when we eat not to gain nutrition but as a way to cope with a problem (emotional eating).
Mindful eating fills us with gratitude and encourages us to appreciate the food on the table, the hands that have worked to make it, the land from which the food has been produced. It helps us recognize our sensations of hunger and fullness better. It gives us time to recognize emotional triggers that make us want to eat and respond to them effectively, reducing the chances of indulging in emotional eating. We all have days when we slip out and find ourselves indulging in emotional eating. At those times, we have to be a little kind and less judgmental to ourselves.
Mindful eating teaches us to be non-judgmental towards our food and to become more aware of our physical cues and thoughts around food.
At “Health Click Away” we promote mindful eating to help people attain the right weight. We believe in enjoying the food in its whole form and removing age-old myths around it. We help people track their water and calorie intake, and help them become mindful of their meal portion size, so that they can enjoy healthy foods without having to starve themselves again.
“With the HealthClickAway app, it’s never too late to follow your dreams”- Ruchika Gupta (CEO, Health Click Away).