Mindfulness is a practice that isn’t commonly practiced in our fast-paced society, but it is an ages old solution that can provide us with the calmness and serenity necessary to make important decisions about our body and our lives. Mindfulness is simply the process of slowing down and paying attention to what’s going on with ourselves and our bodies and taking the time to work with what it has to tell us. How and when we eat is one of the parts of our lives that is shoved in where we can fit it rather than being enjoyed for the pleasure it should be.
Listen To Your Body, It Knows When It’s Full
Far too often we eat what’s placed in front of us as part of the misguided American principle of ‘cleaning our plates’. When we eat we should do so slowly and deliberately, savoring the flavors and textures and listening to what our body has to tell us. All too often we ignore the signals that say that we’re full, that we don’t want more of what we’re eating, or that we’re thirsty when we think we’re hungry. Take at least 30 minutes to eat, and don’t rush through it. When you’re no longer hungry, stop eating rather than clearing the last bits from your plate.
Wanting Food Isn’t The Same Thing As Being Hungry
Have you ever had a stressful moment or a distressful event and suddenly start craving food? Have you noticed that it’s usually a high salt, high fat, high-calorie food that is probably one of the less healthy options available? This is called ‘Emotional Eating’ and is a driving force behind the obesity epidemic. When you’re hungry after having eaten recently and are craving rich foods it’s time to think about why you’re hungry and what you’re actually craving. Do something fun or uplifting to help take your mind off what’s actually bothering you, or face that concern head on to relieve the feeling.
Environment Matters When You Eat
Family dinners can be about more than just bonding. Eating with friends or family tends to lead to more time spent talking and less time spent eating, giving your body the time it needs to send the signal that you’re done eating before you’ve finished your plate. The emotional uplift from the bonding experience can also alleviate the need for emotional eating, so it’s a win-win. Incorporate group meals in your life by getting the family together during dinner or arranging dates for a meal with your friends.
Mindful eating is a powerful tool that can change the way you treat food and how you approach meals and snack-time alike. Finding new ways to restore your body’s balance and eat a healthy diet can have full system benefits, including brighter moods, less stress, and more manageable depression. If you’re looking for guidance on mindful eating and mental health, call Dr. Markita Thompson at the Detroit, MI-based Infinity Hope Center Today.