The practice of Mindful Eating relates to how you “eat” your food. While you might scoff at the idea, the fact is that most of us do not eat our meals properly. We are more than occupied with the ideas of watching the television, checking the mobile phones, or talking to others or are stressed.
Mindful Eating refers to the process of becoming aware of what you are eating and psychologically believing that all its nutrients are being soaked into your body. This applies equally to all types of foods that you could be eating in breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
The studies from the University of Surrey has highlighted that having a meal on the move could make you prone to overeating throughout the day. Conducted on 60 teenage girls, this scientific study was based on filling out a questionnaire about how hungry they were and how urgently they wanted to consume food. They were also supposed to fill in their usual normal routine in the same questionnaire.
The most inference in it was that of Mindful Eating. Most of the subjects were habitual fast eaters who simply did not give enough consideration to eating slowly and properly. Their metabolism rates and weight management processes were rather less than satisfactory compared to those who had their food mindfully.
Did you know? Ancient East Asian eating practices describe the ideal way of eating as chewing your food 32 times before swallowing it. This may seem too farfetched in today’s hectic lifestyle, it hasn’t still lost its truth though.
Chewing food for a long time takes the load off our digestive process and helps our intestines only do their work, instead of first breaking it into smaller chunks. It is for this reason that in ancient times, physicians advised people to drink their foods and eat their fluids by chewing them 32 times in their mouths. This is what’s best implied by chewing one’s food for a long time.
Here are the benefits of eating mindfully:
1. Helps you eat properly
2. Reduces distractions
3. Reduces stress and other mental ailments
4. Cuts the load on the digestive system
5. Weight loss
6. Reduces the habit of binge eating and alcohol abuse
7. Helps you stay in the current moment
Mindful Eating practices also maximize the benefits of healthy eating- a crucial factor in maintaining better health and fitness standards. Once you start seeing its benefits, you would not hesitate to make this way of eating food your new way of life.
Suggested article: Weight loss: Nutrition labels, Fenugreek Seeds, and YOU!
Their eating habits and way of eating were the inferences that the researchers wanted to get into the details of. The result almost was as anticipated, except for its quantitative analysis. The subjects were first asked to keep an interval of a few hours between their last meal and the time when the test was supposed to start.
Other scientists were observing the physical and emotional changes in the subjects. These girls were asked to eat a cereal bar while doing one of three activities for five minutes:
Chatting with another participant
After they finished the activities, they were asked to fill another questionnaire about their hunger levels, the need to eat, and whether they were trying to watch out for what they ate. The same was evaluated over a period of time with respect to the choicest availed of. An inference was derived on the fact if they were following mindful eating practices.
The important thing to remember is that one should stay away from all distractions while having your food. When you are watching the TV or when you are talking to others around you, you are less likely to eat properly.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Chew properly
2. Eat quietly
3. Stay focused
4. Imagine yourself properly chewing the food
5. Stay away from distractions
6. Stop when you are full
The above pointers also double up as some of the best mindful eating practices that you can follow at home.
There was another taste test which included chocolate, grapes, carrots, and chips. They all were asked to share their thought on the flavors and preferences after 7 minutes.
The results of the study brought forward that the women who walked after eating the cereal bar consumed more chocolate in comparison to those women who spoke to another person or watched TV. The researchers have concluded that walking is more of a distraction than talking or watching TV. This research has not helped the researchers conclude the reasons for the same.
Did you know? Walking contributes to weight loss and proves helpful in making visible changes. All this holds until the time you eat while walking or sometimes, standing. Here’s a free resource explaining Why A Brisk Walk Is A Really Great Workout?
The subjects could have thought, “So I’m going to eat as much candy as I want” and thus indulged in more amount of chocolate. Please note that the researchers are not very certain about why these results turned out the way they did because the study didn’t look at causation.
It does make an indication of the fact that more research is needed to determine whether eating and walking could affect the quantity of food that people eat over the long term. Having an active lifestyle and pepping up the energy levels with adequate nutrition levels is crucial.
Now the question that will eating on the go sabotage your weight loss plans is still to get the right answer. Though the verdict from the jury is still to come out, it’s not a bad idea to sit down and eat your breakfast more mindfully just in case. You would benefit from eating your food without watching TV or listening to fast music for the best results.
Secondly, Virtual Health Services are doing rounds on the internet for reasons than one. They are on-demand, faster, personalized, and cost-effective, and can be availed of without taking any appointments. You can consult some of the world’s best wellness experts right from your smartphone via an audio or video call to get a resolution for your health or fitness or wellness issue anytime.
The best thing with these online consultation services is that you can take a consultation even when you are on the move, even if you should not have your food then!
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