Why You Should Eat Mindfully
This post is also available in: Spanish
Because Christmas holidays are coming soon, lots of people are thinking a lot about their weight. Indeed, these celebrations are often synonym of lengthy dinner, multiple choices of food, desserts (Yule log especially), etc. So many courses that are delicious but often rich in calories.
Many companies are taking advantage of the season to sell products that will help you loose weight before and after holidays. Others will praise the benefits of diets.
However diets are not the solution. Of course in the short term you will loose weight. But when you will stop the diet and begin again with your former dietary habits, you will actually gain weight and even more than you had before.
Unfortunately, Christmas is not the only period when you are flooded by advertisements about diets. Summer is probably the peak time. In reality, we are being bombarded by this type of ads all the time if you look around.
So in order to stop with unhealthy diets, we are going to give you some tips because it is not only a question of what you are eating but also how you are eating. There is the food and there is the way we eat it. We are going to talk about the second part.
You need to understand why it is important to eat mindfully. Because intuitive eating is key to heal your relationship with food and ultimately with yourself.
What is mindful eating?
Mindful stands for being aware of our thoughts, feelings and sensations moment by moment. Associated with food, it means eating with attention. Attention for the flavor, the taste, the texture of food and its effects on your body.
It is not only a question of eating seated, slowly, in a calm place. It is more than that. It involves your mind, feelings, sensations and thoughts.
What do you need to do?
Different principles apply to mindful eating:
- Reject the diet mentality: as I explained before, you need to get rid of the need to do a diet during a certain period of time and drop it off afterwards. The typical idea of a diet means restriction, stress, hunger, etc. Things that your body do not need. It is better to bring positive elements, to feel good and free yourself from any strict rules. Also stop using the word “diet”.
- Eat when you are hungry: it is important to eat when your body claims food. Honor your hunger. Do not wait too long, otherwise you will be more willing to eat fast and “stuff yourself”.
- Learn to recognize when your hunger is false: sometimes, we are hungry because of anxiety and/or stress. Or you get bored doing something and to get rid of the sensation you eat (most of the time unhealthy snacks, sweets or any other junk food). Also, it can be a sign of dehydration. So ask yourself “Am I really hungry?”. Recognize when your hunger is not related to food.
- Learn to recognize your satisfaction limit: stop eating when you feel full. You need to start learning when your body is satisfied. It involves concentration, attention and presence. You must eat “mindfully” which means with your mind too.
- Make peace with food: stop seeing food as your enemy, calories, fat or something else. Eating is natural and you need to eat. See it as a way to bring nutrients, new flavor, new texture, energy, enjoyment and nourishment to your body. As a way of taking care of yourself, to love yourself.
What are the benefits?
- Stress will disappear: you won’t overthink about food, what you ate, if it was good or bad because you would have made better food choices.
- You will loose weight: anxiety and mindless munch related to it are making you take weight. Freed from it, you will slim down.
- You will make better choice concerning food: goodbye junk food, fries and sweets; hello healthy food! You will be used to eat what your body really needs, what is good for it.
- You will improve your digestion: eating mindfully will bring calm and serenity to your body when it is receiving food. Also you will be more willing to chew longer for the benefit of your digestive system.
- You will reduce overeating: when you learn to recognize your satisfaction factor, you tend to eat the adequate quantity of food necessary for your body to feel satisfied.
Does it seem difficult? Of course not. It is only a question of changing your mindset. Replace your former thoughts about food by new, healthy ones and your body will thank you.