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Practice Mindful Eating

Mindfulness is a mental state that is achieved by focusing your awareness on the present moment. Mindful eating uses this practice by eating with attention and intention. Mindless eating is the consumption of food while multitasking. We often pair our meals with watching television, working, or performing other tasks that take our attention away from our food. Biological hunger is a physical feeling. When our stomach growls, this is a physical indication of hunger. Our body is telling us it is time to refuel. Eating based on emotional hunger may result in us eating when our body isn’t really hungry, thus taking in more food than we may need. Emotional eating can be caused by the need for comfort, such as times when we are feeling overwhelmed or upset.

 Michelle May, MD, founder of the mindful eating workshops “Am I Hungry?” believes “Many of the habits that drive overeating are unconscious behaviors that people have repeated for years, and they act them out without even realizing it,” she says. “The process of mindfulness allows a person to wake up and be aware of what they’re doing. Once you’re aware, you can change your actions.”

Steps to eat mindfully

INTENTION:

Affirm to yourself:

  • “ I CHOOSE TO EAT FOOD THAT NOURISHES ME, SATISFIES ME AND GIVES ME PLEASURE. I AM FULLFILLED”.

Gratitude

  • Feel Grateful for everything it took to get this food on your plate, Nature, the farmer, the cook , all the other people and circumstance s and divine grace.

ATTENTION:

Am I hungry?

·        Tune into your body signals. What does it feel like when you are hungry, thirsty and full. Become aware if you are craving food for emotional reasons or any external factors

Count Prana not calories

·        Focus on how nutritious the meal has for you in each bite. Avoid Counting calories, portion control etc

Savour each bite

·        Sit down. Eat with no distractions. Tune into all your senses, sight, taste, smell, sound of the body. Chew slowly and long. Take short pauses between mouth fulls to connect with breath, body and check how you are feeling

Observe how your feel

·        After you eat, observe how you feel physically, mentally and emotionally. Ask yourself if this food is giving you energy or making you feel drained and sleepy. Do you feel good initially but later do you feel irritable or bloated or uncomfortable or low in energy? Is the food making you feel vibrant?.

 

NO TENSION:

Be kind to yourself

Let go of inner criticism and guilt when you do slip up. For give yourself, learn from it, let go of any guilt and start again.

Take care of Cravings

Acknowledge cravings and respond thoughtfully. We can fullfill cravings too consciously and we can acknowledge this as an act of self care.

Other Key points

·       Meditate Everyday

·       Drink Sufficient water, Thirst can masquerade as hunger

·       Cook mindfully

·       Exercise in a way that suits you

·       Get enough sleep

·       Learn about healthy food options and experiment to see what suits you

·       Set mindfulness reminders on your mobile, refrigerator and your dining table

·       Become aware of what else you can practice mindfully. Can you be mindful while driving, walking or listening?

 

 

 

Dr.Saradha Devi MS

Dr.Saradha Devi MS

Author
Pearlson's Pain Management and wellness centre

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