HERE ARE FEW STEPS BY WHICH WE CAN PRACTISE MINDFUL EATING:
1. CHEW YOUR FOOD PROPERLY: Eating food very fastly can ignore your body signals that you’re full. Slowing down and chewing every morsel of food is the best way that our mind and body can communicate what we really need. The body actually sends signals to the brain after 20 minutes that we are full but we often ignore these signals. The simple way is to slow down, sitting in a peaceful environment, chewing each bite of food 25-32 times so that our brain receives signals that we are full.
2. ENGAGE YOUR SENSES: Use all your senses and appreciate the food. Notice the smell, textures, colours and flavours when you place the food in your mouth. Chew every bite thoroughly. Connect deeply with your food.
3. REMOVE DISTRACTIONS WHILE EATING: While eating, pay attention to your food and remove any sort of distractions. Turn off mobile, television, computers or any books or newspapers that might distract you from eating. Avoid any sort of discussions or group interactions while eating as you might not pay much importance to your food. It is best to eat in silence and in a comfortable place whenever possible.
4. KNOW YOUR BODY’S HUNGER SIGNALS: The important principle while practising mindful eating is to understand your hunger signals. We often end up eating while we are sad, depressed, stressed, frustrated, lonely or out of boredom. True mindful eating is actually understanding the body’s hunger signals like growling, low energy levels, and light-headedness.
5. UNDERSTANDING YOUR MOTIVATIONS: It is beneficial to understand the importance of eating healthy and nutritious foods than just eating foods which are emotionally comforting. As we engage ourselves in eating healthy and variety of foods we are less inclined to binge on our comfort foods thus ultimately opting for healthy food choices.
Practising mindfulness in this fast-paced environment can be challenging at times but we have to find ways to implement these basic rules while eating. The more we realise the relationship of food with the body the better will be our overall health.