Mindful eating: learn to eat mindfully
The pandemic caused by COVID-19 has brought about huge changes to our lives and our daily routines.
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The pandemic caused by COVID-19 has brought about huge changes to our lives and our daily routines. One of the aspects of our day-to-day lives that has been most affected during the course of the virus in our country has been our way of eating; as a result of this crisis, we are now eating more and worse. Why? Between teleworking and the restrictions, we have got used to spending more time at home, we get bored more easily, we feel sadder or suffer more from anxiety, and all of this, is inevitably reflected in our eating.
Often, the feeling of hunger is simply anxiety caused by nerves or boredom. These two feelings are similar but, luckily, there are ways of telling them apart. This is what mindful eating consists of. Have you heard of it but aren’t sure what it is? Below, we will tell you all of the key points and how they can help you to improve your health.
What is mindful eating?
Mindful eating is a movement that allows us to pay full attention to nutrition to learn to listen to our own bodies and, that way, eat in the healthiest way, enjoying every mouthful. What does listening to our body mean? Paying attention to the signs of hunger and satiety to prevent eating on impulse; in other words, learning to distinguish physical hunger from emotional hunger.
6 tips to learn how to eat mindfully
If, up to this point, you have identified with this and want to delve deeper into mindfulness, you just need to follow some very simple steps:
- Don’t eat if you are not hungry: this consists of learning to listen to your body. We often sit at the table because it's time to eat, or to be social, and we eat without being hungry or out of greed.
- Drink water before eating: drinking water before meals will help you to reduce the anxiety to eat, it will calm your stomach and increase your feeling of fullness.
- Eat sitting down and away from distractions: this will help you to concentrate more on the food and, therefore, enjoy it more.
- Eat a variety of foods: the key to eating well is to eat a variety of healthy foods in moderation. Fruit, vegetables, cereals, eggs, meat and fish will be your friends; and if they are fresh and in season, all the better. Why? Because the main benefit of fresh produce is that they guarantee quality nutrients, as well as a richer flavour.
- Eat, don’t devour: often, thanks to the daily pace of life, we eat quickly and barely taste our food so we can go and do something else. Mindfulness advocates chewing slowly and enjoying what we eat. Moreover, this doesn’t just help us to be more mindful of what we eat, but it also helps us to digest food better.
- Don’t be left with the feeling of having a full stomach: doing mindful eating will enable you to assess your levels of satiety and stop eating before your stomach becomes full. One of the principles of this discipline is to be able to distinguish between being satisfied (not needing more food) and being full (having eaten too much food).
If you are worried about losing some excess kilos in the run up to summer, you should know that mindful eating is not a diet, it is a movement that advocates maintaining a healthy relationship with food, so its aim is not weight loss, although this can be a direct consequence of it. Now you have found out a little more about this movement that promotes mindful and healthy eating, are you encouraged to try it out?