For a healthy diet, what you eat matters and how you eat it. Here you will learn what mindful eating is, how to implement it and what positive effects it may have on your body.
Mindful vs. Mindless Survey
Before you experience more about mindful eating – a little survey upfront…
Ask yourself! When was the last time you ate peacefully at a beautifully set table without distractions? Unfortunately, in our everyday lives, it’s too common for us to eat too quickly. As a result, eating becomes a side job, whether at home, in the office, or on the road.
We are subject to the idea that we can make good use of time by checking our emails, reading the newspaper, talking on the phone, watching TV, or similar things while eating simultaneously.
But this behavior denies that we can escape the hecticness of everyday life. We remain trapped in the hamster wheel, and our well-being dwindles. We then often eat unconsciously, too fast, too much, or too little.
You can and should counteract this!
Use the moment of eating as a bit of time out for yourself!
Enjoy your meal in peace! Then, give the process of eating your full attention!
You will see how well it will serve you!
What does “mindful eating” mean?
Mindful eating means consciously enjoying a meal and concentrating and perceiving all sensory impressions without judging them. For example, how does the food taste? What consistency does it have? How warm or cold is it? How does it smell? These and many other things are to be felt here and now so that one’s thoughts are only on the food. Before and after eating, however, mindfulness also means recognizing feelings of hunger and satiety. This way, you can consciously deal with yourself and your eating habits and change them if necessary.
Mindful eating-how does it work?
Want to eat more mindfully to improve your well-being? Then you will find tips and tricks below:
Purchasing and preparation of a mindful meal
Mindful eating should start with the purchase and preparation of the food.
Listen to your body’s needs and your gut feeling when choosing food. Your body usually tells you quite accurately what it needs. So have faith in your body signals.
Make sure to use seasonal, local, and always fresh ingredients. Look closely at your food when you buy it, feel or smell the ripeness, and examine for damaged areas.
Enjoy the process of preparation consciously: look, feel, smell, taste, and listen when you peel potatoes, grate cheese, chop vegetables, wash lettuce leaves in cold water, when kneading dough, stir the sauce, and form dumplings….
Feel how hungry you are. Are you eating out of hunger, or is it just appetite or boredom or a substitute for lack of love and attention?
Take time to set a lovely table.What do you see? How does the table, the tablecloth, the placemat or the napkin feel? How do the flowers on the table smell? Is a candle burning? How does the silverware feel in your hand?
Before you start eating, put aside any things that might distract you!
Pause for a moment.
What does the food look like? How is the dish arranged on the plate? How big is the portion?
Notice the smell of the dish.
During the meal
As you begin to eat, chew slowly, perhaps closing your eyes for a moment, and feel the different sensations: How hot or cold is the food in your mouth, what is its texture (soft, hard, chewy, crunchy, creamy, crispy…)? How does your food taste (sour, sweet, salty, spicy,…)? How full is your mouth? What exactly are your lips doing, your teeth, your tongue? Chew long enough, about twenty times, before you swallow the food! In between, you can also put down the cutlery and take a short break. Feel how hungry you are. Eat only as much as you feel comfortably full.
After eating, you can reflect on the following things:
- What were you thinking about when you ate?
- Did you manage to focus exclusively on the food or did your thoughts wander?
- What feelings did you have during your meal?
- How long did you eat? Are you pleasantly satiated? Did you eat too much or too little?
In everyday life, you certainly cannot mindfully enjoy every meal.
Furthermore, for some people, it also means a fundamental behavior change.
Don’t get afraid if changes are not easy to implement quickly.
It may undoubtedly help to approach your goals in small steps:
First, pick out just one aspect you want to pay attention to. Then, if you succeed, add a second one, thus, gradually will build up your mindful eating skills.
Don’t be disappointed if you fail right away. Instead, be patient and enjoy even small successes.
Think about it! No matter how small, every moment of mindful awareness you have consciously and intensively experienced will positively affect and enrich your life.