There are numerous benefits of Conscious or Mindful eating. we will discuss them in the article below, but first lets understand what exactly is conscious eating ?
90% of the diseases in this world are caused by eating….. Agree ?
Eating is necessity , if we do not eat we will starve to death. Let’s re-phrase the sentence. 90% of the diseases in this world are caused by unconscious eating.
It takes 20 minutes for brain to trigger that the stomach is full, but our eating habits are such that in that 20 minutes we eat so much that we always end up in over eating.
So Are you feeding your hunger, or just feeding your emotions? Maybe the thing your appetite craves isn’t more food, but more attention.
Our attitude towards food will have a great impact our weight and overall health. Certain habits are bound to make you put on weight rendering your efforts at working out useless. By watching what you eat and how you eat it, you’re bound to have a healthier relationship with food and consequently reach your goal weight.
How to practice mindful eating ?
1. Avoid distractions during mealtimes
Distractions include watching television, using your phone or reading a book. These habits make it harder for you to realise when you’re full resulting in overeating.
2. Pay attention to what and how you eat
First and foremost, ensure your meals are healthy. When you sit down to eat, make a conscious effort to recognize the different flavors and textures of your food. Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly.
3. Notice when you feel full
You will get certain cues that tell you you’ve had enough. When you’re mindful about your meal, you will notice these cues in good time and stop eating.
4. Why are you eating?
Before you bite into that snack, ask yourself, ‘Why am I eating this?’ Is it because you’re truly hungry or are you eating in response to something else like the sight or smell of food? When you get into the habit of doing this, you will reduce the instances of eating for the sake of eating, eat less and consequently lose weight.
5. How does the food make you feel?
A large part of food disorders is the emotion attached to food. Does eating make you feel happy or sad? It’s important to deal with how food makes you feel since this is often a sign of an underlying problem.
It takes time to pick up these habits but once you do, your eating habits will improve and you will see better results in your health and fitness journey.
Eat without distractions
As efficient as multitasking may be, it’s not a great idea for meal or snack time, since it’s extremely difficult (if not impossible) to really pay attention to more than one thing at a time. So step away from your computer, TV, phone, and even books during meal time. By removing distractions, you can really pay attention to the flavors, textures, and aromas of your food, and better tune into your hunger and fullness levels. You’ll also be more mindful of how quickly you’re eating, and likely realize that gobbling down food in hurry doesn’t actually feel good. If you can’t do this at every meal, commit to undistracted eating at least once a day.
Try thinking back. Can you remember everything you ate yesterday ? In a busy life it’s easy to lose track and end up eating food without thinking. A cookie while checking your mails : A handful of chips when you get home from work; dinner in front of Television – so often we fill our mouths without thinking.
Write down everything you consume, including soft drinks, coffee and alcohol, along with the time of the meal or snack. Be truthful and try not to change the way you eat just because you are keeping a dairy. The simple act of recording your meals creates awareness. It highlights your patterns, the gaps between meals. All of these will help you plan heathier eating and can help in forming a habit of conscious eating.
Once you start practicing conscious eating it will become our habit. And once habit is formed you don’t have to worry as it becomes an automatic process. So you have to be conscious only for few days and then consciousness becomes your habit. How amazing. We need to just stick for few days.
Believe me once you start practicing conscious eating you will naturally feel good. The food will taste good. You will be in good mood for the entire day. You will feel physically and mentally strong.
Conscious eating is also be called as Mindful eating.
learn to pay attention to:
- Why you feel like eating, and what emotions or needs might be triggering the eating.
- The look, smell, taste, feel of the food you’re eating.
- Your emotions during and after eating
- What you’re eating, and whether it is healthy or not. ?
- Thank God for the food, the varieties, the smelling power and taste buds.
This is a skill, which required regular practice, you don’t just acquire overnight. It takes efforts and consistency, and there will be times when you forget to eat mindfully, but don’t worry if you missed it few time, But with practice and attention, you can become very good at this.
The Benefits of Conscious eating :
The benefits of eating mindfully are amazing, and it’s important to know these benefits as you consider the practice.
I’m going to go over just a handful of the most important benefits, though as you learn the practice I’m sure you’ll find many more. Many of these are from personal experience, but many of them are supported by research.
- You learn to eat when you’re hungry, and stop when you’re full
- You learn to really taste food, and to enjoy it thoroughly
- You slowly start to realize that unhealthy food isn’t as tasty as you thought, nor does it make you feel very good.
- As a result you will often lose weight if you’re overweight.
- You begin to sort through the emotional issues you have around food and eating. This takes a bit longer, but it’s important.
- Social overeating can become less of a problem — you can eat mindfully while socializing, with practice, and not overeat.
- You begin to enjoy the eating experience more, and as a result enjoy life more, when you’re more present.
- It can become a mindfulness ritual you look forward to.
- You learn how food affects your mood and energy throughout the day.
- You learn what food best fuels your exercise and work and play.
- You will be able to connect with food. Which has a different feeling altogether.
In Ayurveda and Islam it is recommended to drink water while sitting and avoid drinking while standing. It has its own benefits however even if you don’t believe in these ancient science but for the sake of practicing consciousness if you practice drinking water while sitting. It will have benefit of not only mindful eating but mindful drinking as well. So whenever you drink water remind yourself to find a place and sit down and drink sip by sip. So other than health benefits of drinking water while sitting you will develop a new habit of conscious drinking.
Human is the only species who eats unconsciously, notice the animals and insects how they enjoy their food and they never eats once they are full. This was not the case with our great grand parents, however now due to hectic lifestyle and stressful environment we tend to gulp emotionally. One you develop the habit of conscious thinking, automatically you will also develop the habit of conscious eating. Both go hand in hand. Keep practicing both fir faster results.
I know it’s very difficult to change the habits, but if you manage to make it you are above 90% of the population of earth.
This article is taken from a book 3-consciousness. by Kazim Merchant
( Amazing book . I recommend it to be part of your daily reading)