Picture from: https://www.ecommunity.com/healthminute/2021/20-foods-your-heart-loves
Written by: Ava Elliott, Marketing Intern
Reviewed by: Devon Kroesche, MS, RDN, LDN
The Oxford dictionary defines mindfulness as “a mental state achieved by concentrating on the present moment, while calmly accepting the feelings and thoughts that come to you, used as a technique to help you relax.” When applying this to the eating process, slowing down and concentrating on the food you are putting into your body can help you connect with your thoughts and bring you peace. Mindful eating can improve mental health by lowering disordered eating thoughts and anxiety, while also improving digestion and reducing overeating. It is important to focus on a few aspects while practicing mindfulness which lead to healthful benefits.
To begin, a few steps that you can take to practice mindful eating include getting rid of distractions. Check in with your senses: chew slowly, remain aware of each bite’s taste and texture, and imagine the food nourishing your body. Also, checking in with your hunger and fullness cues can help keep you satisfied. All these steps can help you slow down and really think about the food you are putting into your body. When you take a bite, do you feel the texture on your tongue? How does it taste? Do you connect with any memories associated with that bite? Are you slowing down?
Slowing down and practicing mindful eating can increase your natural awareness of hunger and satiety. A meal or snack with at least two food groups can help you feel satisfied. Nourishing your bodies with carbs, proteins, and fat will fulfil your appetite and promote satiety at mealtimes. Don’t forget to check in with your thoughts and make peace with food.
Mindful eating is important because we live in such a fast-paced world where everything is available at our fingertips. Some carry that mindset over to mealtime. Maybe you are watching an episode of your favorite show to relax during breakfast. Maybe you have a 30-minute lunch break and eat super quickly so that you have extra time to use the restroom or take a coffee run. Maybe you will eat dinner quickly so you can meet up with your friends in town for a few drinks. All of these scenarios are normal for most people, but peace with food can be lost along the way. By attempting to follow some of the steps I previously mentioned, there can be a positive impact on both your mental and physical health.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our dietitians to talk about mindful eating and making peace with food, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.