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Mindful Eating

Chloe Davidson, Healthy Living writer

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Would you believe me if I told you that the way you eat your food affects how good it is for you? Well, as absurd as it may sound, eating mindfully can be extremely beneficial to your overall health. So what exactly is mindful eating? Mindful is defined as being conscious or aware of something, and if you apply that to food, it’s being fully aware and intentional about how and what you’re nourishing your body with.

In an era full of rush hours, screens, and so many other distractions, it can be very hard to be mindful about anything at all, let alone eating. The problem with this is that when we aren’t enjoying our food properly, we don’t reap nearly the amount of the benefits we could (yes, even if it’s kale). If our minds are focused on something else while we’re eating, most of our body’s energy will go towards whatever that is, rather than absorbing nutrients. This is actually a huge contributor to why so many people feel sluggish after eating rather than energized. Here are some tips I gathered from health experts across the globe on how you can eat a little less mindlessly and reap all the possible benefits from your food.

Eat Your Drinks and Drink Your Food

Chewing your food enough is one of the simplest ways to stop stuffing yourself mindlessly. You don’t necessarily need to count 30 chomps for every fork full of food, but chewing until your food is almost a paste is good. Not only does it help to focus on what you’re eating, but it also releases more digestive enzymes in the process making it easier to digest. Win, win!

Picture Where it Came From

If you approach your plate with a sense of gratitude and think about where your meal came from, it actually raises your body’s frequency, making it ready to metabolize more efficiently and effectively.

What Are You Hungry For?

Are you really hungry, or do you need fulfillment? This is a battle almost everyone goes through. Try to notice if you’re actually hungry or if you’re bored, or need comforting. If you’re actually hungry, eat. If you’re not, try and do something that makes you feel better, but doesn’t have the negative affects of overeating or eating processed foods. Things like playing with a pet, going for a walk or run, having a cup of tea, or talking to a friend, are really good ways to boost your mood and not make you feel worse afterwards. I know this can be a lot easier said than done, but I’ll talk a little more on this another time.

Multi-Tasking = Wasting Your Time

This could be largely debated I’m sure, but studies have actually shown that people that don’t multi-task are way more successful and have much higher EQ’s than people who do. When you multi-task, it causes you to be much less focused and much more scattered. Same thing goes for when you do something else while you eat. Your body becomes confused and can’t function nearly as well. So, turn off Netflix, close your book, and stop stalking your crush’s Instagram and think about what you’re nourishing yourself with instead.

Stress Less

If you’re stressed while you’re eating, all of your body’s energy will go towards dealing with the stress, rather than digesting your food. So before you eat, you should always make sure you’re in a calm, positive state. Take some deep breaths, go for a walk. Eating while you’re stressed can be very harmful for your health.

Slow and Steady

Don’t just shove your food down your throat, take your time. Eating should be a sacred event, savour, and enjoy it, no matter how hungry you are. When we eat too fast, it causes us to overeat since our brain can’t actually signal that we’re full for 20 minutes. Make sure you give yourself at least 30 minutes to enjoy your meals. Your body will thank you.

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “Mindful Eating”

  1. Nicole on April 7th, 2016 11:21 am

    Before I eat I’ll have to look at this article! I’ve never heard of picturing where your food came from before. Thanks for the ideas!

    [Reply]

  2. Rachel B on April 8th, 2016 9:32 pm

    My brother always lectures my Dad and I about eating mindfully and I’m glad to now know how and why to take the time to do so. Your articles are always so interesting and helpful towards leading a happy, healthy lifestyle! 🙂

    [Reply]

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Mindful Eating