I had the opportunity recently to attend a mindful eating retreat “After the First Bite” and was amazed at how much better I felt after three days of being aware and paying attention. When we are on “auto pilot”, we tend to act (eat) first and then become aware of what we have done (eaten) afterwards. Mindfulness of when, why and what we eat, how it tastes, where it comes from, and how we feel after we consumed it can help bring a natural and healthy change to this everyday process.
Here are just a few of the benefits:
- Helps Us Slow Down
One of the biggest issues in general is eating SO quickly. You can be out to dinner with someone and by the time you blink a few times the food on their plate is completely gone. Eating quickly is both bad for digestion and it’s also bad when it comes to controlling the quantity of food you’re eating. Practicing mindful eating can help you tune in and pay attention to the food you’re eating, which in turn can help slow you down.
- Promotes Eating Less
Paying attention to the food you’re eating can not only help you enjoy it more, but because you’ve slowed down to tune into your food, it gives your brain and stomach more time to communicate and sense fullness, a process that takes about 15-20 minutes.
- Can Boost Satisfaction
So after slowing down and eating less, what you’ll realize is that you actually have time to listen to what’s going on inside of you, and there is a greater chance that you’ll feel more satisfied. The entire process of tuning into what you’re eating in addition to how it looks and what it feels like, can help promote feeling satisfied, and for many, this is after eating much less food than they once did.
- Helps to Better Nourish Your Body
Proper nourishment for our daily life is the main function of eating. Paying better attention to what you’re eating and planning ahead can be beneficial when it comes to providing more nutrients to your body, and usually when people start paying attention to what they’re eating, they also usually start to pay attention to providing better nutrition which is a major plus for the body.
Want to Learn More…
- N.Y. Times: Mindful Eating as Food for Thought
- Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life
- Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food