Mindful means the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something and in another way it is a mental state which is achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, happily acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, emotions and thoughts.
We all know that life is not without its obstacles which are needed for our growth. Similarly, engaging in a mindful life is not too different. Throughout the process wherein you start practicing mindfulness there are times when we get too tired to practice the same and this can be due to various reasons. We think we need to give up and avoid being mindful. But if we look the other way round we come to understand that these are not signs of failing at being mindful. Instead they are opportunities to learn about the hindrances of life and tackling it mindfully.
It is a way to live in the present and to enjoy it well. We also need to stay healthy. This is why mindfulness is important when it comes to eating food.
Practising mindful eating means being aware when we eat or drink, and enjoying it thoroughly. We generally tend to focus on what we eat (healthy or unhealthy), but we also need to focus on how we eat because that has a huge impact on our health.
Here’s how to start mindful eating:
Eat slowly and take the time to savour each and every bite to enjoy food as that is one of the healthiest things you can do. You are more likely to notice that when you are full you chew your food more and hence it mixes well with saliva to digest more easily. You may also find yourself noticing flavours you might otherwise have missed.
The body also sends its satiation signal to the brain about 20 minutes after we begin eating. This is why we often unconsciously overeat if we chew fast. On the other hand if we slow down our body gets a chance to catch up with the brain and hear the signals to eat the right amount and avoid overeating.
Try to keep the meal time as silence time. This doesn’t mean you can’t talk to your family members but try and keep it light. Try and avoid all gadgets, TV, phone, laptops, etc, and focus on the food you are eating. This way you can connect with the food easily without any distraction and you’ll savour each bite too.
Try and look into your portion size. We tend to eat more when we eat directly from a packet or box of food, instead take out small portions in a plate to avoid overeating. Try and use smaller plates and small spoons which will ensure that you take small bites and chew well. This way the intake of food reduces and we avoid issues related to the gut.
Deep breathing during a meal is equally important to make sure the body is getting enough oxygen. The increased oxygen in the body improves blood flow which improves overall digestion.
There are many things that you can do to be mindful of what you are eating but let’s focus on doing these few things and make it a lifestyle habit to keep health in check always.