Karl Burton taught me how to move through life more mindfully, and gladly shared his advice on mindful eating! I do not always practice mindfulness during my meals (kids!), so I am happy to have a reminder now 🙂
Take it away Karl!
In the rush of the morning we usually drop something into our mouth just before we step out of the door and then swallow the last bites in the stairway. We know that we will not have time for lunch as we are under a huge heap of ASAP tasks in the office and this will end up in a huge repast in the evening. If you are familiar with this situation it’s time for you to become familiar with another attitude towards eating, which is called mindful eating.
But first a quick visual reminder on what being mindful means, pin it as a cheat sheet for your busy days!
What is mindful eating?
Mindful eating is not another trendy way of diet, but a chance to observe and be aware of eating. Mindful eating is a branch of mindfulness practices. It was developed by Jan Chozen Bays, who is a Buddhist Zen master and a pediatrician as well.
In general mindfulness is the intentional non-judgmental awareness of the present moment. Those who spend their time and energy into learning and practicing mindfulness attitude in everyday eating habits, will be able to focus when eating. During mindful eating our focus is on the vision, the smell and the taste of the food. Our emotions and thoughts get aroused by the food. By doing so, not only the meal become more enjoyable but all our negative thoughts are exculded.
We can build up a perception on how our body and mind are related to eating and we can decide if we are really.
We knew this but we forgot it
We can learn a lot from small children and this can also apply on eating habits. 3-year-old children eat exactly the amount of food they need to. Even if there is more food on the plate they will not eat it, as their minds tell them that they are full. Unfortunately somewhere between the age of 3 and 5 this stops happening. This fact is verified. Studies show that a 5-year-old child will eat until there is no food left on the plate. But what happens during these 2 crucial years? How do we forget the ability to know how much food our body need?
Our environment plays a major role and it really affects the amount we want to eat. Most of us are satisfied if our plate is almost breaking under the pile of the food on it. As we grow up, we are accustomed to eat everything that is on our plate. The constant overeating will result in overweight, and due to the overload of the digestion system it will also cause a feeling of discomfort. The extra weight and failed diet programs will cause anxiety, self-recrimination and food disorders. The purpose of mindful eating is to regain the wisdom we once posessed.
Quote from the amazing book Savor, about mindful eating and living.
Identify your Hunger Related States
Studies show that people usually distinguish three main states when it comes to eating. The first one is the feeling of hunger. This happens when we feel our stomach empty. It is connected to the feel of discomfort and maybe dizziness.
The third state is when we are totally full and we cannot eat even one more bite.
It is obvious that the second state is somewhere between the first and third and it is the ideal point to stop eating. This is the moment when our body is satisfied, the point where we could stop the meal but we don’t because the food is delicious. What make this point perfect to stop is that neither our body needs more food nor we want to reach state number three by eating more.
One of the biggest advantages of mindful eating is that we can lose a lot of unnecessary weight without the sacrifices a diet requires.
Author Bio: Karl Burton is the owner and webmaster of Bettermindbodysoul.com. The purpose of this site is to help people start living a better quality life from today providing actionable tips. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org