Our eating habits can influence multiple areas of our lives, including our mood and health. Conscious eating or mindful eating is an approach that focuses on an individual’s awareness of the food one is consuming. It is a kind of mindful meditation that focuses on increasing your awareness while consuming food.
You observe the emotions that are triggered when you consume your food, in addition to its taste. You also notice the satisfaction and fullness that the food you are consuming brings you. The practice of conscious eating would enable you to simply acknowledge and accept your thoughts and observations about your food, without any judgments. The experience of conscious eating may extend to buying, preparing, and serving your food before consuming it.
Conscious eating can also prove to be helpful for people with gastric problems and indigestion, instead of relying on medication. There have been several reported cases of bladder cancer linked to Zantac usage. Zantac is an H-2 blocker that reduces and ails acid reflux as well as treats peptic ulcers. Click here to learn more about the connection between Zantac and bladder cancer.
How Does Conscious Eating Work?
Conscious eating is the approach that focuses on mainly appreciating the food you are consuming rather than restricting the intake, although it won’t make you overeat.
Mindful eating helps promote healthy eating and reduces overeating. An individual decides the quantity of food to eat with a mindful eating approach. It allows you to eat less but savor more, and select the food option consistent with desirable health benefits.
While the concept of conscious eating is not for everyone, it is gradually becoming popular among today’s working class, whose mealtimes have become rushed affairs owing to their busy lives. The other reasons for eating mindlessly include emotional and physical stresses, anxiety, loneliness and boredom. Conscious eating or mindful eating is just the opposite of such unhealthy eating habits.
How To Practice Conscious Or Mindful Eating
You can start this practice whenever you want to. For starters, you can start doing conscious eating on Mondays. Start once a week, then twice a week, then whenever you feel comfortable. Here’s how to practice conscious eating:
- You can begin with conscious eating while making your grocery shopping list. Carefully assess the food items that you want to add to your plate based on their nutritional value. Choose food items that will not give you a feeling of regret but motivate you and give you a sense of satisfaction and pride.
- Know your state of mind and intention about this food. Assess, at all times, whether you are consuming it because you are hungry, bored or because you think this is what you should be doing.
- Take a few breaths and appreciate the nutritional value of each item on your plate.
- Don’t judge your food, just relax and appreciate its value and the hard work put in by people and yourself for this food to reach your table.
- Observe your food: the weight, the smell, the texture, and the aroma.
- Focus solely on the food and the eating process. If you start noticing things around you, you might get distracted from conscious eating.
- Take a bite and notice how it feels in your mouth. Is it different from how it felt in your hands when it was in front of you? Chew slowly and try to figure out the ingredients used in making the food.
- Notice your eating behavior and utilization. Whether you are getting full with every bite or you want more.
- Listen to your stomach and hunger, not what and how much is present on your plate. This is the most crucial part of conscious eating, be aware of your hunger and what your stomach and body require.
Benefits Of Conscious Or Mindful Eating:
- You eat only when you are hungry and not unnecessarily.
- Allows food cravings to pass easily.
- Ends a meal when you are full and not when the plate is empty.
- Helps in losing weight.
- Controls blood sugar.
- Promotes healthier responses to stress.
- Makes you spend less time thinking about food.
- Increases the variety of food.
- Improves digestion.
Other Benefits Of Eating With A Conscious Mind
When you make conscious choices about your food, you allow yourself a healthy lifestyle saving yourself from diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular issues, GERD, liver failure, and other indigestion problems.
Relying completely and solely on medications for any health condition is not a solution. You should start minding your diet and eating practices.
However, you shouldn’t depend completely on diet also. Seek medical care when required and don’t avoid it. Keep yourself healthy on your behalf by following healthy mindful eating.
Conscious eating is like an exercise where every little effort counts. It will enable you to have greater control over your diet and nutrition habits. Having said that, the same kind of diet doesn’t always work for everyone. If conscious eating doesn’t interest you, try your hand at intuitive eating.