Mindful Eating

photo of boy enjoying melted chocolate

What is Mindful Eating?

Picking up were I left off yesterday with the 7 deadly sins…find it here. I kind of took a turn and didn’t really finish my thoughts on the obesity crisis. So, what is mindful eating….

Mindful eating is the practice of paying attention to what you eat and how you eat it. It is simple and can be considered an art. When we are in the day-to-day grind trying to get things done the last thing that comes to mind is, “How and where will I enjoy my meal today?”

Why Mindful Eating?
Mindful eating is important. When people are mindful about eating, they tend to: eat less; enjoy food more; and science has shown that it is better for digestion and reducing stress.

How many times have you heard, “Eat slowly and chew your food!” Please give credit to the person who told this to you. It can take up to 20 minutes after food is first eaten, for the full range of satiety signals to reach the brain. By this time and for some time afterward, we will experience feelings of fullness. Some of us are so hungry that we consume a meal in five minutes or less. This is a high health risk because it can lead to binge eating.

The stress hormone cortisol also increases a person’s appetite and may also increase motivation to eat. Once a stressful episode is over, cortisol levels should fall. But, if the stress doesn’t go away — or if a person’s stress response gets stuck in the “on” position — cortisol may stay elevated.

High physical or emotional stress causes people to choose to eat foods that are high in fat, sugar or both. Eating these foods does not satisfy hunger and a person may continue to eat until they feel full. Here is how to get started with better habits.

  1. Observe – notice what is in your hand. (i.e. textures, colors, shapes, etc.)
  2. Smell – what scents do you identify? (i.e. sweet, earthy, fresh, etc.)
  3. Touch – feel the texture and temperature of what you are eating.
  4. Take – take one bite at a time. Notice you will taste something different after each bite (i.e. juicier, sweeter, etc.).

 I wish you five minutes of mindfulness every day! Remember that mindful eating can lower your stress.

As a final note I also advise people to boost there diets with “Super foods”. Super foods is just a term for nutrient dense items that can be purchased fresh, dried or even in a beverage format. Some items are actually considered condiments in international Cuisines; for example kimchi, a fermented cabbage used with most Korean dishes. Others would include seaweed, micro greens, etc. One particular product I use almost daily is Vibrational Greens. There are a number of similar products that are much more expensive. This stuff will really give you a boost, when your diet routine gets out of wack….which is not uncommon for peeps working in the hospitality biz.

Happy Sunday! Do something nice for someone today! Cheers!