Mindful Eating

It sounds like quite a ‘wishy-washy’ term don’t you think? Mindful eating. I know I have heard over and over about chewing your food 20-odd times before you swallow it, so you feel fuller and therefore eat less. I have also heard that if you take your time eating, you’re less likely to choose unhealthy choices. You should take time preparing your food etc all in an effort to eat less.

What Does Mindful Eating Really Mean?

Mindfulness is paying attention to consciously slow down and can use meditation techniques. Mindful eating has been described as, “noticing the colours, smells, flavours, and textures of your food; chewing slowly and learning to cope with guilt and anxiety about food. It is about really thinking and looking at what your body is actually telling you it needs, and not what your brain ‘thinks’ it wants, out of habit.

To practice mindful eating you should:

  • listen to your body
  • really savour your food
  • chew your food well
  • don’t eat for the sake of eating
  • don’t constrain yourself to three scheduled meals a day

All of this can be easier said than done as habits like snacking are hard to break. But with a bit of willpower, I do know that this can really help. It takes a few tough days of essentially feeling really hungry, but then you soon break the habit and your body realises that it isn’t hungry after all – more often than not it just means you were thirsty.

Mindful eating will then lead to eating less, especially eating less of the bad stuff, and then you will lose weight. This in turn will help reduce things like blood pressure and cholesterol levels, in the hope that long term, your overall health will be better and less likely to have illnesses later in life.

Don’t be mistaken though, mindful eating isn’t about ‘getting skinny’. It is about long-term health and the benefits that come from that.

One way I have found that really helps me control what I eat, is taking the time to prepare food from scratch and follow a ‘clean’ eating diet.  So basically, nothing processed. One thing I really like to eat is courgette noodles or ‘courgetti’. Using a spiralizer, they are really easy to make and then I would have them in place of where I would normally eat noodles, like for example, a stir-fry. You can eat them raw or cook them with a spash of oil or stock. When I take extra time and effort to make a proper healthy meal, I know I savour it more.

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I just need to get the chewing my food slowly thing down – with two little people in the house it can be tricky, but I really do know the benefit of it.

Rebecca x

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