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How to use mindful eating to improve your diet

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Mindful eating focuses on drawing your attention to how you can connect with your meals [Courtesy]

Mindful eating is the practice of creating a mind and body connection with food. It focuses on drawing your attention to how you can connect with your meals.

The common eating culture hasn’t always encouraged us to actually have a healthy relationship with our eating habits. There are also so many outside influences that subconsciously dictate our food choices.

Listen to your body: Let your body guide you. Pay attention to when you need to eat and when to stop eating. If you’re only slightly hungry, you can take a glass of water instead of snacking on something unhealthy and when you’re satisfied, but not too full after a meal, you can pause until your next meal. Knowing how to balance these aspects of mindful eating will help you nurture self-discipline when it comes to your eating habits.

Let your emotions speak: Although mindful eating has a lot of emphasis on your emotional connection with food, it’s nothing like stress eating. While stress eating has an unhealthy dependence on food like eating to suppress feelings of stress or anxiety, mindful eating comes from a place of gladness and gratitude.

Be present: Having the TV during dinner or eating while you’re multitasking has become the new norm. Gone are the days where families would gather around the table and enjoy each other’s company during meal times. We are missing out on the benefits of eliminating distractions. When you’re distracted, you’re more likely to binge eat. Learn to be more present when eating so you can enjoy the full experience of mindful eating and get all the benefits too.

Slow down: Eating food in a rush is never a good idea. It makes it harder for you to gauge how much you’re consuming and it’s bad for digestion because you’re swallowing more air and bigger bits of food. Take smaller bites and chew food thoroughly. You can even pause in between bites to allow your mind and body to process everything. Slowing down has some therapeutic benefits because you’re simply enjoying every moment and you’re able to listen to the signals your brain is telling your body like how the food is making you feel and when you’re satisfied.