A Quick Guide To Mindful Eating
Improve your relationship with food
When was the last time you kept aside your phone and a thousand whirring thoughts to enjoy a meal? Experts say a focussed meal time is better than any diet. Let’s dig deeper.
Eating while watching TV, scrolling through Instagram, or glaring at the laptop is a common habit we’ve developed to ‘save time’. But this could lead to mindless snacking and overeating. Mindful eating is a concept where you focus on the present moment and indulge in the touch, smell, sound, colour and flavours of the food. Delhi-based integrative nutritionist Pooja Ajwani explains, “Mindful eating requires a fully present mind sans any distractions such as gadgets or excessive conversation.”
How Does It Help?
When one is distracted while eating, they tend to eat excessively fast, which can lead to overeating. Ajwani explains, “It takes 20 minutes for the brain to signal the body that it’s full. But when our mind is occupied with other things, it’s unable to pass on this message.” Eating with a focus on the food makes you mindful of how hungry you really are and ensures you don’t binge eat. This means no bloating, weight gain and indigestion.
How To Start
The first step is to ask yourself before eating if you’re hungry. Being surrounded by a plethora of options can tempt you into eating even when you’re well-fed.
Chew your food slowly and enjoy the texture, smell and flavours.
Eat with gratitude. Ajwani says, “Practising bite-by-bite gratification will avoid bloating, excess body fat, brain fog and guilt post-consumption.”
Eat on the table without any distractions.
Stress and emotions can lead to eating disorders. Karishma Chawla, nutritionist and lifestyle educator, suggests, “Before eating, ask yourself – am I doing this to feel healthy? Or to lose weight? Or increase my energy levels? Or because I’m stressed/ unhappy?” Eat for the right reasons.
Lastly, try to eat at the same time every day.