Fitness Facts: Mindful eating

Connie Colbert

By Connie Colbert
Director, Canyon Health and Wellness Clinic

Eating has become mindless act, often done quickly. It can be problematic since it takes your brain up to 20 minutes to realize you are full. If you eat too fast, the fullness signal may not arrive until you already have eaten too much.

This is very common in binge eating. By eating mindfully, you restore your attention and slow down, making eating an intentional act instead of an automatic one.

Mindful eating is a technique that helps you gain control over your eating habits. It is about developing awareness of your experiences, physical cues and feelings about food. It has been shown to promote weight loss, reduce binge eating and help you feel better.

Mindful eating involves:

  • Chewing slowly
  • Listening to physical hunger cues and eating only until you’re full
  • Distinguishing between true hunger and non-hunger triggers for eating
  • Eating without distraction. Multitasking and eating can be a recipe for not being able to listen to our body’s needs and wants. With your next meal, try single-tasking and just eating, with no screens or distractions besides enjoying the company you are sharing a meal and conversation with.
  • Learning to cope with guilt and anxiety about food
  • Before opening the fridge or cabinet, taking a breath and asking yourself, “Am I really hungry?” Do something else, such as reading or going on a short walk.
  • Eating to maintain health and well-being
  • Noticing the effects food has on your feelings and figure
  • Drinking more water. Oftentimes we mistake thirst for hunger.
  • Organizing your kitchen space so it encourages healthy eating. Consider what you bring into your kitchen and where you put things away. Are healthy foods handy? What kinds of foods are in sight? When food is around, we eat it.
  • Sitting down at a table and eating
  • Putting food on a plate or bowl. Do not eat out of the container. Use utensils, not your hands.
  • It also helps to eat with others. Not only are you sharing and getting some healthy connection; you also slow down and can enjoy the food and conversation more.

These things allow you to replace automatic thoughts and reactions with more conscious, healthier responses.

Mindful eating helps you decipher between emotional and physical hunger. It increases your awareness of your food-related triggers and gives you the freedom to choose how you respond to those triggers.

If you want to get started, don’t just start with every meal or every time you put food in your mouth. It might be better to pick one meal per day during which you focus on these points.

Once you have the hang of it, mindfulness will become more natural. Then you can focus on implementing these habits into more meals.

For more extensive information on this topic, visit https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/really-hungry#1

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GCU Magazine

Bible Verse

David said to Michal, "It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when He appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel — I will celebrate before the Lord. (2 Samuel 6:21)

To Read More: www.verseoftheday.com/