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“Mindful eating” is a term many people hear, but few understand how to start or why a mindful eating exercise can be so beneficial. Many people like mindful eating because it helps them eat healthier and reach their body goals, but staying grounded while eating can help out in other areas of your life, too. In fact, you might be able to reach your other goals unrelated to nutrition, all by paying attention to the present.
What Is A Mindful Eating Exercise?
Mindful eating entails that you exercise all of your senses while eating your food, allowing yourself to be fully aware of what you’re putting in your body and in what quantities. A certain exercise may have you focusing on one sense at a time, or it could encourage you to listen better to your hunger cues. Employing a mindful eating exercise can help you understand more about your eating habits and why you go to certain foods during certain times.
With mindful eating, you’ll be able to be fully present when eating your meal. You can appreciate your food for how it looks, smells, tastes and feels. Mindful eating might also help individuals treat their disordered eating habits, but it isn’t a cure for eating disorders. For whatever reason you practice mindful eating, you may find that it helps you reach your goals outside of health and nutrition.
How A Mindful Eating Exercise Can Help You Achieve Your Goals
Picking up a mindful eating exercise is the first step to learning more about your body and taking back the control you need to achieve your goals and live your most fulfilled life. When you pay attention to what you’re putting in your body, you’re more likely to nourish it with the best things you can.
1. You’ll Taste Your Food
Being mindful while eating means that you’ll consume your food slower. In fact, one mindful eating exercise may be to slow down and really taste your food if you struggle with eating in a hurry due to your schedule. Food is an experience, and it should be savored — especially if you made it yourself!
Maybe you don’t actually hate healthy food — you just haven’t tasted it fully. When you practice mindful eating, you’ll have to make time to plan healthy meals that will sustain you from the moment you wake up to the minute you fall asleep. Once you start to eat better, you’ll feel more energized and ready to tackle any obstacle that may come your way.
2. You Won’t Overeat
A mindful eating exercise can keep you more aware of your hunger cues. Due to distractions, stress and several other factors, you may have lost your natural hunger cues and may be eating whenever you feel like it rather than when you need to or should. By eating slowly and mindfully, you’ll start to feel your hunger cues again and know when you’re satisfied. That way, you can save any leftovers for a later time and won’t gorge yourself to the point of feeling pain. You can retrain your brain to listen to your hunger cues.
3. You’ll See Eating as an Event
While eating shouldn’t necessarily have to feel like a sport, it can feel like an important event in your daily life. If you look forward to a meal with your loved ones, you can get through even the most challenging days. Eating with others can help you strengthen your bonds with them and keep you grounded and focused on what’s important, like school work and living well. Make a plan in your household so everyone knows they should prioritize dinner together.
4. You’ll Read Your Emotions
Some people tend to eat or refuse to eat when they feel strong emotions. Mindful eating ensures that you can start understanding the food choices you make when you’re stressed, sad or angry, among other emotions. When you pay more attention to how you’re eating, you’ll better understand which emotions drive you to overeat or undereat. In this way, you can better treat the symptoms and work toward fixing any issues you feel in your life while nourishing your body with food in the right amounts.
5. You’ll Have Fewer Distractions
To eat mindfully, you need to set down your distractions. People typically tend to eat in front of screens, whether they’re scrolling on their phone, watching a show or reading an e-book. The best way to eat mindfully is by having little to no distractions. Even if you’re eating alone, you can still find that distractionless eating is the best way to savor everything on your plate. Try to focus your thoughts on the present and fully enjoy your food rather than distracting yourself with outside media.
Find a Mindful Eating Exercise That Works for You
Picking the right mindful eating exercise is simple — just prioritize what you want to focus on. Whether you want to enjoy your food more or try to eat without distractions, mindful eating can help you achieve your goals in nutrition and beyond. Mindful eating features several benefits, like connecting with those around you and learning to feel your emotions properly. If you have an unhealthy relationship with your eating habits, you could start repairing it by finding a mindful eating exercise that works well for you.
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