Mindful eating can help you in a lot of ways. Some you may expect, others you may not have thought of before. It’s a mindset that goes deeper than any diet and I think that’s a big part of how it affects us. Here are four great benefits of mindful eating.
- You’ll start to enjoy food more, even though you won’t eat as much. When you take the time to really focus on each and every bite of your food you start to pick out flavors and textures. You learn more about which foods you love and when you’re eating something particularly delicious you’ll get to really savor it. Eating your favorite foods becomes an even more amazing experience when your focus is on enjoying it to the best of your ability! I recently attended a mindful eating event where we had to spend 10 minutes eating a Hershey kiss. Yup — you know how small they are, you eat them in one bite perhaps not even tasting the chocolate. Then you go for another one. Well. this was interesting we looked at the packaging, listened to the foil, then looked at the kiss all before we put it in our mouths. We then had to let it sit on our tongues to experience where we first tasted the chocolate. It really made you tune into the experience and the tastes.
- You’ll make the choice to eat more nourishing food. Mindful eating is about listening to your body and feeding it for nourishment rather than eating mindlessly. Not only do fruits and vegetables offer great flavors and textures but you’ll notice that after eating a nutritious meal your body and mind will feel better. Of course you can still have your treats, but they’ll be conscious choices rather than “cheats.” My motto is 3 bites. If I have a treat and it doesn’t taste good in three bites then I toss it. It’s not worth the calories.
- It can end the unhealthy relationship most people have with food. Today we’re taught that some goods are “good” and some foods are “bad.” If you want to be healthy there is this entire section of foods we shouldn’t eat. The “diet mindset” is all about restricting yourself to lose weight and it’s something that leaves you feeling like you’re missing out. It’s not something you can turn into real lifestyle changes. I’m all about good, better and best. Each and everyday we are faced with choices and determine what’s the good choice, better choice and the best choice. There is no guilt or obsessing once you make your decision you own it and move forward.
- You can lose weight! This is a big one for a lot of people. Most people look into mindful eating because they want to lose weight but don’t want to count calories or deprive themselves of their favorite foods. Mindful eating helps you lose weight because it helps you stop overeating and snacking mindlessly. When you tune into your body and what it needs it’s no longer becomes an obsession.
When you eat more slowly and take a break between bites you’ll feel when you’re not hungry rather than just eating until you’re stuffed.
Mindless snacking is a big issue you can help to end through mindful eating. Have you ever made a bowl of popcorn or grabbed a bag of chips before sitting down to watch TV? It’s full one minute and empty the next! You weren’t thinking about the food as you ate it so you didn’t realize exactly how much you were eating. That’s what mindful eating aims to stop.