Mindful eating is a simple method of becoming focused on the present moment and being aware of your senses while eating food in a non-judgemental way. It can help manage eating habits, and make people feel better about their body.
Mindful eating is not about counting calories, or tracking macros (carbs, fat, or protein), and mindful eating has little to do with weight loss, although it is proven to help with losing weight. Mindful eating should help individuals understand and enjoy the food they eat, and remove stresses associated with overeating unhealthy foods. Mindful eating can be a fun way to make meal times enjoyable by reflecting and savouring the moment as an experience.
Jon Kabat-Zinn pioneered the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Now there are thousands of peer-reviewed studies on mindful eat. Mindful eating explains why ‘diets’ aren't effective in the long-term…Food alone fails to address behaviour change..
Some of the key benefits of mindful eating include:
- Reduced gas and bloating after meals
- Reduced binge-eating
- Reduced stress-eating and anxiety
- Improved digestion
- Improved self-control around foods
- Improved nutritional intake
- Improved weight loss results
Did Somebody Say Snack-o'Clock?
Psychological hunger, pushes us towards snacking and overeating. It comes from the emotional desire to eat, with no physical signs that your body needs energy. This is associated with cravings, boredom and emotional eating.
Research suggests that boredom is the most common reason for psychological hunger. Remove yourself from the boring situation that prompted the intial desire to snack, will satisfy your psychological desire to eat.
This can be as simple as standing up and stretching, going for a walk or changing your music or asking yourself ‘why do I want to snack?’.
So What is Mindful Eating and How Do I Do It?
A review of 24 studies by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that distracted eating encouraged people to consume more food throughout the day, and led to a poor relationship with eating. These 3 tips help us stay on track with mindful eating at every meal in our house.
1. No distractions.
For every meal we sit at the table and noone leaves until everyone is finished. That means no TV, no Youtube, no phones, no mess, no music. This is so crucial to finding connection and conversation around healthy food together.
2. Sip, stay and play.
It's a myth drinking water whilst eating is bad for you. If you find it hard to eat slowly, try taking a sip of water between mouthfuls. Cleansing your palate between bits should also improve the sensory experience of your food. Count for 20 whilst chewing to improve your digestion. Talk about your day and plan together how you will move your bodies tomorrow.
3. Eat with chopsticks!
You should allow at least 20 minutes to eat a meal. This provides sufficient time for your gut and brain to signal to each other satiety and fullness. I find eating with chopsticks helps me eat more carefully and slowly
Have you tried mindful eating? Is it a practise that helps you with your ketogenic lifestyle? I would love to hear from you about your experiences with mindfulness! Send me a message through the website or reach out to me on social! I look forward to hearing from you.