Have you ever eaten a whole meal and still felt hungry afterwards or eaten so much so fast that it felt painful in the next hour? Your senses need the input of eating just as much as your stomach. One thing that I learned from fasting is that most of my cravings were in my mind. My stomach didn't need the food, my brain desired a feeling that memory of eating it was attached to.
Breathing and relaxing the body with every bite, a slow steady in and out breath. Taking in all the delicious smells, tastes, and textures and noticing with a relaxed body where these delights hit me in my CNS. Experience the food, and this also helps me stay in touch w my body so it can more easily tell me when it's full. This will also help w digestion because the more that we chew and salivate the more the enzymes in our saliva start to break down our food before it even makes it to the stomach. This also triggers the peristalsis contractions of the intestines that move everything through in a timely manner.
Food is not just fuel for our bodies; it is also a source of pleasure, culture, and social connection. However, the way we consume food can have a significant impact on our digestion and overall wellbeing. Mindful eating is an approach to eating that can help us improve our relationship with food and benefit our physical and mental health.
Mindful eating is about being present and fully engaged in the process of eating. It involves paying attention to the sight, smell, taste, and texture of our food, as well as our thoughts and feelings related to eating. Here are some benefits of practicing mindful eating:
When we eat mindfully, we are more aware of our hunger and fullness cues, and we eat at a slower pace. This can improve digestion by allowing our bodies to properly break down and absorb nutrients from the food we eat.
Eating mindfully can help us reduce stress and anxiety by focusing our attention on the present moment and slowing down our thoughts. This can also help us become more aware of our emotional triggers related to food and develop healthier coping mechanisms.
Better food choices:
When we eat mindfully, we become more aware of the quality and quantity of the food we consume. This can help us make better food choices by selecting whole, nutrient-dense foods and avoiding overeating or consuming processed foods.
Mindful consumption can also increase our satisfaction and enjoyment of food. By fully engaging our senses and taking time to appreciate the flavors and textures of our food, we can feel more satisfied and content with smaller portions.
So, how can we practice mindful consumption? Here are some tips:
Pay attention to your hunger and fullness cues. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are comfortably full.
Take time to appreciate your food. Chew slowly, savor the flavors, and pay attention to the texture of your food.
Eat without distractions. Avoid watching TV, using your phone, or working while eating. Focus on the present moment and enjoy your meal.
Listen to your body. If you feel full or uncomfortable, take a break and wait until you feel hungry again to resume eating.
Mindful eating is a simple yet powerful tool for improving our digestion and overall wellbeing. By being present and fully engaged in the process of eating, we can improve our relationship with food and enjoy the benefits of a healthier lifestyle.