How to Change Your Eating Habits – Mindful Eating

Mindful eating, which is a part of the concept of mindfulness, is a zen belief that will change your eating habits. We are constantly applying for different diet programs; we fail regardless of whether it is for us or not. We constantly count calories, feel guilty when we eat calorie meals, and continue our conflict between body and mind. This vicious circle gradually expands and becomes permanent as situations such as irresistible cravings for foods, turning to packaged and addictive foods, and not being fed according to the season are experienced.

Mindful eating focuses on the psychological side of eating and steers us away from all these negativities and healthy and proper nutrition. Therefore, the benefits of mindful eating are many.

What Is Mindful Eating?

Mindful eating is not a diet method. It is not concerned with calorie calculation, carbohydrate, fat, and protein percentages. When we adopt it to our lives, it gives results as beneficial as successful diets. It allows us to distinguish whether we are really hungry while eating or binge eating and eating to satisfy our emotional needs. We can also say that it is a pair of eyes looking at us from the outside while we are eating. In short, mindful eating is to experience the awareness of what we eat, how we eat, when we eat, and how much we eat by feeling the food with our 5 senses.

Identifying the signals our body sends us correctly is learning not to perceive every signal as physical hunger. Because of all this, the benefits of mindful eating can change your life. It prevents emotional eating when you are not hungry and prevent eating disorders. It ensures that you do not overeat. It contributes to your overall health. It allows you to enjoy yourself more while eating and accelerates weight loss. It makes you realize your actual needs. It encourages you to consume healthier, more beneficial foods. It distracts you from negative eating habits.

Woman eating breakfast mindful eating

Why Should I Eat Mindfully?

The main purpose of mindful eating is to change your relationship with food. Mindful eating is anything but a “diet”. In fact, it’s basically the opposite! Changing the way you eat is not just about developing discipline over your food preferences or losing weight. Instead, it’s about mastering control over your mind. When using mindfulness around food, you become present and aware of yourself. So you naturally start controlling your portions, choosing healthy eating options and avoiding emotional eating.

Mindful eating means that you feel the food in your stomach and experience pleasure from eating. When you are careful, you notice how your stomach expands and feels fuller as you eat. You experience each bite from start to finish. You slow down every aspect of the eating process and become fully aware of it.

Overeating and mindless eating are both ways to distract you from your worries and help you cope with uncomfortable feelings. This explains why many people eat for emotional reasons, rather than the need for calories or nutrients.

When you practice mindful eating, you start to understand your own eating habits by recognizing reoccurring thinking patterns, moods, emotions, hunger levels and cravings that can affect your appetite. So essentially, instead of allowing your feelings to rule your food choices, you start being aware of things affecting your relationship with food thus becoming more in control of your health.

mindful eating

How Do You Practice Mindful Eating?

Many people seek help from a seminar, online course, or mindful living program to reap the benefits of mindful eating. However, there are many straightforward methods to get started. When you are going to eat, do not go directly to the act of eating, give yourself 1 minute. Question your hunger. Are you stressed or sad? Are you physically hungry? If you realize that you are not hungry, you are just eating to pass the moment, try doing other activities that will do you good.

Pay attention to the time you eat, it will take about 20 minutes for the satiety signal to go to our brain. Make sure it takes 20 minutes before you finish your meal in a very short time. If you are really hungry, it will distract you, cause you to eat more. So, stay away from devices such as computers, phones, televisions. Just focus on your food. Cut your food into smaller pieces. Be aware of what you are eating by chewing slowly after you take each bite. Focus on the bite you eat. Try to see the effect of each bite on your body.

What Are The Principles of Mindful Eating?

Mindful eating is the center manner among senseless ingesting and limited ingesting, and it’s primarily based on numerous principles.

·      Freedom to consume all foods

·      Being present while consuming foods

·      Honoring hunger and fullness

·      Awareness and transcendence of non-hungry cues

·      Having body-food congruence

What Are The Three Parts of Mindful Eating?

Mindfulness can be quite effective in your ingesting habits. Mindful eating lets you devour much less and experience your meals more. So as we understand, the benefits of mindful eating can change your life. Plus, feeling comfortable while you nosh enhance digestion and decrease bloating. Here are 3 parts of mindful eating:

·      Slowly Chew: Eat with your normally unused hand. If you are left-handed, eat with your right hand. Studies have shown that this way of eating is more likely to be eating slowly.

·      Sit Down: Avoid nibbling in the front of the fridge or snacking in your car. Put meals on a plate. You will experience meals greater and consume the proper quantity while you supply drinking your complete attention.

·      Eat Without Distractions: Take a conscious bite. Then, smell and taste it. Turn off the TV, don’t watch videos, and remove other distractions.

If you comply with all these, it is possible to benefit from the benefits of mindful eating.

The Connection Between Mindful Eating and Cephalic Phase

There is an initial phase of digestion called the cephalic phase that occurs before we actually start to eat. Cephalic means “head,” so it is not surprising that this initial phase of digestion begins with the brain seeing, smelling, and anticipating food. An example of the cephalic phase happening is when you smell bread baking. Anticipating the delicious flavor of the freshly baked bread causes the mouth to water, preparing you to eat the bread.

In this phase, the brain informs the stomach that it should prepare for a meal by initiating a number of digestive activities. The body begins to prepare for the breaking down and absorption of nutrients. Salivation is activated (saliva is used for the initial break down of carbohydrates) and pancreatic enzymes and stomach acids (also used to break food down) are released. The conveyer belt that is the digestive tract begins its rhythmic movement so that nutrients can be absorbed and moved along.

Paying attention while eating assures full digestion as well as full nutritional benefit. It is estimated that as much as 30 to 40 percent of the total digestive response to any meal is due to the cephalic phase. So if we aren’t paying attention to what and when we eat, then we cannot trigger the full beneficial digestive response. 

Conclusion:

If we don’t eat mindfully, our digestion can be distracted by poor stimulation of the cephalic response. To have a healthy cephalic phase and help our body get the maximum benefit from enzymes, vitamins, fibers and many more substances that it needs to work properly, we should practice mindful eating and be fully aware of what we eat.

Mindful Living Program of TheLifeCo is designed to guide and empower you to cope with modern life and transform the stress which disturbs your physical and emotional well-being, into happiness. Please click here to learn more about mindful eating and living.

Hande Anadolu

Psychologist

Hande Anadolu

Hande Anadolu utilizes her experience to aid guests with different methods ranging from one-on-one consultations on eating disorders and nutrition to workshops on mindfulness or emotional eating, enhancing their personal goals at TheLifeCo. Hande Anadolu, BA in Psychology from Bahcesehir University Scholarship Program, interned at Surp Pırgıç Armenian Hospital focusing on Personality and Behavioral Disorders, worked three years on Childhood and Early Adult Personality Development at Mimar Sinan College.

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