Updated: Mar 2, 2020
You don’t need to go far to find examples of ‘disconnected eating’ as I like to call it or the opposite of mindful eating. Just have a look at your work colleagues during lunchtime, observe your eating habits when there’s plenty on your ‘to do’ list or watch your parents relax with their dinner in front of the TV.
Time is of great shortage and value these days as with information overload time tends to fly by. Simultaneously, chronic disease and mental health issues are on the all- time high increasing at an alarming rate.
Obesity, stubborn weight, eating disorders, bad food relationship, bingeing and many more stem and are mediated from the sole reason of becoming disconnected from our bodies and ignoring it’s signals. And it’s not always that we ignore those signals on purpose- sometimes we don’t know what they are and what they really mean.
The true magic happens when we slow down and start to listen and practice it often. Suddenly, a whole array of body’s signals become crystal clear. I invite you to start this journey of listening more to your body, as I promise you- it has most of the answers for you.
No need to turn to calorie counting, diets books and other external sources when your body can say exactly what it needs and when. Just start with eating mindfully.
Among the endless benefits of mindful eating you will find:
The body is able to absorb more nutrients
Smaller portions are needed contributing towards healthy weight
Feel fuller for longer from less food
Helps reduce overeating and binge eating
Helps reduce stress and anxiety.
Sounds good, right?
HOW TO GET STARTED
Just like any new habit, start small and implement a new element of mindful eating each week and be consistent at practicing. Start with being mindful with breakfast or a meal that feels easiest first.
Sit down - always eat when you are sitting, put your food on the plate and avoid snacking mindlessly or straight out of the fridge.
Distractions - switch the TV off, put your phone down and focus solely on the food on the plate. Everything else can wait, as your health and wellbeing is no1. Notice your mind, is it still taking you somewhere else, rather than the food you’re eating?
Slow down - chew slowly, take deep breaths between meals and put cutlery down if needed. It takes around 20 min for our bodies to recognise food and stop sending signals for hunger. The most effective way to manage your weight and make sure that you’re only having the amount of food the body needs.
Savour - use your senses fully and enjoy the taste, texture, smell and sight of your food. Do you notice something you haven’t noticed before (have you seen the tiny hair that raspberries have)? Try out setting an alarm for 3 min and be completely mindful for 3 whole minutes of your meal. Do it with a somebody else and share what you’ve noticed.