Do you want to practice mindful eating in your day-to-day life?

You’ve heard of mindful meditation and other mindfulness practices, but perhaps you haven’t put much thought into mindful eating. Mindful eating is an approach to food that uses intention, focus, appreciation, and presence. It requires you to take a deeper look into what you’re consuming and helps you make better choices about the food you ingest.

There are many ways to practice mindful eating that you might not even be aware of. If you want to practice awareness surrounding your food choices, here are 4 ways to help you get started.

Choose Healthy Options

Did you know that gut bacteria manufacture about 95 percent of the body’s supply of serotonin? That means that what you consume affects your mental and emotional health more than you realize.

If most or all of your diet consumes of fast food, fried food, and sweets, it could negatively impact your overall wellbeing. A huge part of mindful eating is choosing to consume foods that nourish your body and make you feel good.

Make sure to add greens and raw foods to your meals. Be mindful about where the food you’re eating comes from and how it’s helping you by sustaining your survival. Consider what aspects of your meal you’re grateful for and what you appreciate about it. 

Only Eat When Hungry

Do you eat because you’re bored and have nothing better to do? Or do you eat only when your body needs the nourishment?

For many people, eating is an escape when they’re feeling emotional distress. Food becomes a source of comfort instead of something you consume because your body needs it. This turns into a harmful habit of eating when it’s unnecessary, which can lead to overeating, obesity, eating disorders, and more.

It’s important to pay attention to and recognize your hunger signals so you can differentiate between needing nourishment and seeking comfort. Eating only when hungry is a form of intuitive eating that helps you improve your appetite, lose weight, 

Plan Each Meal

Do you eat at random times throughout the day with no real plan for what you’ll eat? Part of mindful eating is making the intention to eat at a certain time and eat a certain food. 

Sharing meals with others also helps you practice mindful eating by enhancing the experience. Sharing food with others gives you the chance to connect and build strong relationships with other people. Socialization is important for your mental and emotional wellbeing as humans are social creatures who need that bond for fulfillment. 

Try to plan your meals instead of waltzing into the kitchen and picking the first thing you see. Think about what you want to make, make a grocery list, take a trip to the store, and cook with a recipe. Invite a friend or family member over to share the experience with you and help you connect with your food.

Avoid Multitasking

We’re all guilty of eating on the go or in front of a screen. For many people, life is busy and filled with a million things to do before the day ends. There simply isn’t enough time to dedicate to eating mindfully and making healthy decisions. Or, maybe you just like to watch YouTube videos while you sit down for dinner.

You might not realize it right away, but multitasking while eating takes away from the experience. It hinders you from paying attention to your meal and contemplating each bite that goes into your mouth. 

When you meditate, you aren’t looking at your phone or watching television. You simply sit on the mat and bring your attention to center. It’s natural to let your mind wander as you eat, but try to focus on each individual motion as you chew and get rid of any distractions around you. Think of it as treating yourself to a date where you get to concentrate on your meal and enjoy every bite.

Your Turn

It’s essential to prioritize your meals and look at food through a healthy lens. Mindful eating adds to your personal growth by helping you build a healthy relationship with food. Sometimes what your body really needs is to slow down, listen to it, and nourish it. How will you practice mindfulness while consuming your meals?