What Exactly Is 'Eating Mindfully'?
What is mindfulness?
In recent years, mindfulness has been a buzzword, seen amongst those in the fitness and wellbeing worlds. But what exactly does it mean?
Being mindful is the practise of being fully present and aware of what you’re doing and the surroundings you’re in. It is most commonly practised in a seated position, but can also be done standing, lying down or even moving about.
When it comes to mindful eating, it’s all about paying attention to the food on your plate. These days we always have our attention on something else. Whether that’s watching tv whilst we eat, scrolling through social media or even walking and eating whilst we rush to our next meeting.
Mindful eating is all about putting a stop to this. Eating our meals at a slower pace and learning to appreciate good food. This helps us to gain control of eating habits and makes us aware of what’s going into our body.
One of the most important things you can do when you choose to mindfully eat is slow down. How often can you say you pay attention to the food you eat?
Eating at a slower pace has a lot of benefits. For one, it allows us to appreciate the food we are eating, whether we have put the effort in to cook it or are enjoying a meal made by others. On top of this, when you take your time, it gives you the chance to question your hunger levels. Eating at quick speeds doesn’t allow you to think about how full you are and actually leads to overeating unnecessarily.
Bring your senses to the plate
Don’t just taste the food, smell it, touch it, listen to it bubble on the plate. The beauty of food is that it utilises all 5 senses, but we hardly ever use all of them.
Next time you eat your food (slowly) begin by looking at the food, what does it look like? Does it remind you of anything? Can you hear the food crackle or bubble? Then as you bring the food to your mouth, smell it before you taste it. Finally as you begin to taste the food, also take note of the various textures swirling around in your mouth. Now that’s mindful eating. Use all 5 senses.
Turn everything off. Don’t scroll through social media, or watch tv. Try to focus solely on the meal and the people around you. This way you’ll be much more aware of what you’re eating and can enjoy the meal. Likewise, avoiding distractions allows you to also make better social connections with the people around you.
So when is your next meal? How will you eat in a mindful manner?
Keep your phone and any distractions away from the dinner table and learn to focus on your food.