Friday, 15 March 2013

Can You Eat Without Technology?

Mindful eating is a concept you may have heard of, but do you know what it can do for you?
When was the last time you ate a meal on your own with no phone, no TV, no book or magazine. Nothing to distract you. For a lot of us it's a rarity.
As soon as I sit down to eat I grab my phone to catch up on texts or emails, or sit in front of my laptop to watch something or read articles. I find it really hard to just sit and eat.
I used to see information on mindful eating and it's benefits but I use to resist the idea of it and would just brush it off. I would think: "That won't work for me" or "I won't get any benefits from that." Then after continually seeing the concept being mentioned by Emily from Embrace True Health I knew I had to try and put it into practice.

First of all what is mindful eating? 
"It is being more aware of your eating habits, the sensations you experience when you eat, and the thoughts and emotions that you have about food. It is more about how you eat than what you eat." -Susan Albers

Mindful eating is about slowing down, being in the present moment and realising you're eating. Have you ever finished a meal and thought "Oh... I don't even remember eating that..." Which leaves you wanting more because you haven't acknowledged the amount you have eaten? That is mindless eating. 

The benefits of mindful eating:

  • Helps you listen to your body and really know when you are full.
  • Allows you become more aware of emotional eating.
  • Gives you an amazing sense of satisfaction and comfortable fullness. 
  • Assists in weight management; you are less likely to overeat.
  • You learn how to truly enjoy your food.
  • Is an act of self love, and your body will love you back for it!

So yesterday I set myself the challenge of mindfully eating for a full week. This means removing all the distractions and just focusing on eating. Sounds easy right? I thought so too. 

I sat down to have my first meal and all I wanted to do was grab something to do. I was struggling to just sit and eat. I even began to daydream and plan things in my mind so I could be distracted in some other way. It took a lot of focus to sit there, look at my food and eat. Sounds like I'm crazy, right?! By the second meal I seemed to settle into the idea more. I'm hoping by the end of the week the commitment to mindful eating will begin to feel more natural. I will let you know how I go and what I discover. 

Now over to you. I really urge you to give this a go. So much focus is placed on rethinking what we eat and not rethinking how we eat it.

Here is what you do: 

  • Take 5 deep breaths before eating to create an optimal, relaxed environment for digestion and absorption.
  • Remove all distractions; leave your phone away from you and turn off the tv.
  • Chew your food!
  • Eat slowly and really enjoy the tastes and sensations. If it helps put your fork down in between each bite. 
  • Feel grateful for your food and the time you have taken to show yourself some self care. 

Give it a try. Like any habit, it takes time to change. So even just giving your breakfast a mindful makeover could make such a huge difference to the way you feel and set you up for a great day.

Leave a comment below or let me know on Facebook  how you go. 

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