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How to Practice Mindful Eating

mindful eating

With the business and stress of everyday life, it can be hard to practice mindful eating habits. It’s easy to mindlessly snack throughout the day without giving much thought if you are actually hungry or if the food has the nutritional value necessary to satisfy your cravings. It’s crucial to listen to your body’s natural cues of when to eat and when you’re full to develop healthy eating patterns. Use these tips to practice mindful eating and become more in tune with your body to make healthy eating choices.

Listen to Your Body

It’s essential to listen to your body, rather than your brain, to know when and what you should eat. It’s easy for your mind to tell you to eat by sending signals through emotions, stress, or even boredom, without your body needing nutrients. Listen to your body’s internal cues, such as if your stomach is growling or if you’re feeling low on energy to know when you are actually hungry. Listening to our minds, rather than our bodies, is what leads to mindless snacking, overeating, and eating without getting the proper nutrients your body craves. Start by being intentional every time you take a bite, and listen to your body’s personal, internal hunger signals.

Slow Down

It’s important to eat slowly to give your body time to catch up to your brain. Your body sends a satiation signal to your brain that you are full approximately 20 minutes after eating—making it easy to unintentionally overeat if you don’t slow down. Slowing down is one of the primary ways to avoid overeating and allows time for your body and mind to communicate what nutrition you are lacking. Try implementing simple habits like setting your fork down in between bites to encourage you to slow down. Eating slowly will allow your body to catch up to your brain’s signal of fullness and will train you to eat the proper portion sizes.

Identify Your Emotions and Motivations

It’s important to identify if you are eating food because it’s emotionally comforting or if you are eating food for its nutritional value. It’s essential to find foods that comfort both your emotional wants, while giving you the proper fuel and nutrients. Understand what motivates you to eat to become more in tune to when you are eating because of emotional stress or boredom. When you eat because you are actually hungry, you will train your brain to eat intentionally and mindfully.

Eat Mindfully for Healthy Food Habits

Mindful eating has a variety of health and diet benefits that can help lead to weight loss. When you listen to your body’s internal hunger cues, you are less likely to snack on mindless calories or overeat at mealtime. Eat intentionally and slowly to help you lose weight and develop healthy eating patterns by eating mindfully.