Mindful Eating is based on mindfulness, a Buddhist concept related to a form of meditation that helps you recognize and cope with your emotions and physical sensations, in this case it is transported to reach a state of full attention to the experiences and physical signs when eating. In other words, mindful eating helps you to eat consciously, knowing your body and its needs at any given moment. The goal is that your relationship with food is healthy and, therefore, so is your life.
How to introduce Mindful Eating in your daily life?
Here are some steps to follow to start developing a conscious diet and improve your relationship with food, recommended by our expert in nutrition and psychology Maria José Pastor:
- Preparation and conscious choice of food: Before you start eating, take a moment to reflect on what you are going to eat. Choose foods that are nutritious and provide energy and satisfaction.
- Appropriate environment: Try to eat in a quiet place free of distractions, such as the television or telephone. This will help you focus on the eating experience.
- Connect with your senses: Before you bring food to your mouth, notice the colors, shapes and smells of the food on your plate. Then, as you eat, pay attention to the texture, taste and temperature of each bite.
- Eat slowly: Chew each bite slowly and consciously. Enjoy the process of chewing and swallowing, rather than rushing to finish your meal.
- Notice physical sensations: As you eat, pay attention to the physical sensations in your body. Do you feel hungry or full? Notice how these sensations change as you eat.
- Listen to your body: Learn to recognize hunger and fullness cues. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you feel full, even if you haven’t finished your plate.
- Eliminate distractions: Avoid engaging in other activities while eating, such as working on the computer or watching TV. This will allow you to fully concentrate on the eating experience.
- Practice gratitude: Take a moment to be grateful for the food on your plate and the opportunity to nourish your body.
- Accept without judgment: Don’t judge yourself for what you eat. Mindful eating involves a compassionate, non-judgmental attitude toward yourself.
- Practice regularly: Mindful eating is a skill that develops with constant practice. The more you practice it, the more natural it will become.
Remember that Mindful Eating or Conscious Eating is not a technique focused on weight loss or the initiation of a diet, it simply pursues general well-being through the development of a good relationship with food and healthier eating practices that lead to a decrease in impulsive cravings and a reduction in the amount of food intake.
It is interesting to combine the practice of Mindful Eating with Mindfulness, complementary activities that will help us to achieve a connection with your body and the environment around us.
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