Do you ever stop to think about how you eat?
Do you tend to grab something as you rush out the door and eat it while driving to work?
Or do you shovel food in while checking your email?
Do you finish your meals still hungry and craving something?
I know that used to be me!
There was a period in my life where I would literally eat standing in front of the fridge while doing work on my blackberry (did I age myself there?) I would eat way too much, way too fast, and then feel unsatisfied and bloated within half an hour. Learning how to slow down, listen to my body’s cues and eat mindfully was a HUGE component of my healing journey.
If you are not eating with intention, your digestive system may be suffering as well as your weight.
Research has shown that mindful eating is the healthiest way to eat; because by putting thought into what you’re eating and how you are eating it, your eating habits, digestion, and overall health will benefit greatly.
HERE’S HOW MINDLESS EATING IS NEGATIVELY IMPACTING YOUR HEALTH.
Thinking about food before eating it prepares your mind and body for the first stage of digestion. As the brain starts to anticipate the food, either through smell or visualization, it triggers the production of the digestive juices and enzymes your body needs to break down that food and pull out the nutrients.
If you are eating mindlessly and pay no attention to your food, your brain is unable to help your body function the way it should, resulting in poor digestion and weight gain.
TIP: Before you eat, look at your food, and then take 5 deep breaths.
Stress & Cortisol
Eating while working can increase the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone suppresses the production of enzymes, stomach acid, and saliva, and can lead to undigested food, resulting in acid reflux, gas, and bloating, as well as the loss of many essential nutrients. Plus cortisol is what leads to that dreaded belly fat.
TIP: Practice eating without a screen in front of you. It’s hard…I know. But I can’t stress enough how essential managing cortisol is to fat loss.
Mindless eating often leads to over-eating because you are not paying attention to your body’s signals.
TIP: Use a smaller plate so that it appears fuller. Put your fork down between every bite. If you finish your platefull and still feel hungry, wait 10-20 minutes before going back for more.
HERE’S HOW MINDFUL EATING WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE
Mindful eating is simply eating with intention and paying attention to your food. By increasing your awareness of your relationship with food, mindful eating improves your digestive processes and can change the destructive cycles for good. Here are some of the benefits of eating with intention:
1. Weight Loss
If you eat mindfully, you will be in touch with your body’s cues for when it is full and what it is truly craving. This means you’ll eat the right amount of fuel for reaching your ideal weight.
2. Elevated Energy
Because you are being more selective about how you fuel your body, mindful eating may increase your energy. This has trickle-down effects: more energy means you may be more motivated to exercise longer and harder, you may be more productive at work, and you will have a more positive attitude. Food is fuel for your body; the better you fuel it, the better it will run!
3. Better Digestion
Mindful eating may drastically reduce a wide variety of digestive issues, such as bloating, nausea, constipation, gas, indigestion and a toxic liver. When your body is prepared to receive and process food, and when that food is healthy, you will notice a dramatic difference in how your body functions and in how you feel.
Eating mindfully and intentionally has changed my life, and it really didn’t take much to get there. Slow down, think about your food, and feel the best you ever have!