Use Mindfulness to Eat Healthier

by Heather Duchan | July 28th, 2011 | Eating Tips

Mindfulness is a practice with Buddhist roots. It is aimed at bringing full awareness to the present moment, such as the current sensations of the body and breath, instead of letting thoughts wander to the past, future, or anything that is not essential to the here and now. Living mindfully is a way to make intentional decisions on behalf of our highest values and to fully enjoy what is currently available to us, gaining fulfilment and contentment. Luckily, for anyone trying to eat healthier, this technique can work well in regards to food.

American’s are notorious as rushers and multi-taskers. Unfortunately, this habit merges into our eating as well. It’s all too common for us to grab our food in a hurry from the microwave or drive thru window, and scarf it down as we try to get other things checked off our daily to-do lists. Eating in front of the television or computer is also ordinary, with 66% of Americans admitting that they do so on a regular basis.

This way of dining only encourages overeating, as we are not fully conscious of what we are consuming or how it is making us feel. I know personally that when I eat this way, I can easily binge on a huge serving of junk food, only realizing I’m full once my mind has broken from the task at hand. Regrettably, by this time my stomach is stuffed, and I’ve consumed a huge chunk of my calorie needs for the day.

Mindfulness is a solution to this problem. Mindful eating means paying attention to food as you eat it, along with sensations, such as flavor and texture. It requires complete chewing and awareness of swallowing. When you eat mindfully, you can fully appreciate and enjoy the gift of nourishment you have in the moment.

Doing this exercise, you’ll slow down and truly enjoy your meal. You will also notice the signals of your body much better. You will feel fullness and have the motivation to quit eating when you need to without stress, taking yourself a step further in your journey to eating healthy.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.