The connection between the mind and body is powerful. When the mind and body are fully engaged and working in sync, they support optimal health. While the body uses food as fuel, the mind chooses the foods that the body consumes. Mindful eating is a perfect way to engage the mind and the body and create harmony.
Mindful eating is the practice of paying attention to food – engaging with it, consuming it, and experiencing it in a highly mindful way. Mindful eating is less about nutrition and more about the experience the mind and the body surround the entire eating process.
Mindful eating comes from the Buddhist concept of mindfulness. Mindful eating can help close the gap between the mind and body by creating an awareness of cues like hunger, fullness, cravings, and how food feels during eating and in the body.
Nowadays, the world is moving so fast, and there is little time to be mindful about eating. Food is served through windows on the go and consumed in front of computer screens and television sets. Eating is less about health and more about convenience. Mindful eating can help reconnect the mind and the body with the experience of nourishment for health purposes rather than convenience.
Here are some top tips for beginning a mindfulness eating practice
Pay attention to hunger cues. There are two types of hunger – physical and emotional. Eating for physical reasons is about fueling our bodies for energy and health, whereas eating for emotional reasons may include poor choices like salt, fat, and sugar. Pay attention to hunger cues, and notice why you feel hungry and what your body is asking for.
Sit at the table and pay attention to your senses. Sitting at a designated spot for your meals, away from distractions, and designed for mealtime will make your meals more meaningful. Also, pay close attention to your senses. How does your food look, smell, taste, and feel? The goal is to connect the experience your mind and your body are having with your meal.
Notice any affects the food has on your feelings. Some people have associations with food that don’t serve them. Feelings like guilt, shame, and pain go hand-in-hand with eating for them. As you are more mindful, notice your feelings about what you are eating and how you are eating. Try not to judge your feelings. Instead, simply notice them.
Mindful eating is an excellent way to create a close mind and body connection. Being present with eating and thoroughly connected to the process is a wonderful way to get the mind and body in sync.