Secrets of Mindful Eating for Energy and Motivation

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mindful eating, conscious eating, emotional eating, energy, motivation, weight loss, mindfulness, mindfulness practice, mindfulness exercise, daily mindfulness
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We all know that “we are what we eat.”

It is obvious that what we eat affects our lives, but here’s what we don’t consider so much: how do we eat? Do we eat consciously?

This question might seem a bit awkward but its purpose is to make us wonder about our eating habits. A lot of people struggle with emotional eating, I struggle too. Filling the void with junk food in front of the TV is something we often make part of our routine.

Then, one day it seems so wrong, you want to quit eating for comfort but you can’t. You realize that chaotic eating affects your mood and energy.

There’s a solution to ending the bad eating habit and that is mindful eating.

If you have no idea what mindfulness is I will sum it up for you. Mindfulness is being present and aware of yourself and your environment without being judgmental, letting thoughts come and go, noticing sensations in your body, noticing your breath, your environment, everything that is present with you.

Imagine smelling a flower and being captivated by the smell, the sensations and memories that come with the smell; that is a mindful experience.

However, we tend to easily get distracted and become detached, unaware, and not present or engaged.

Do you eat in front of the TV, while talking on the phone or browsing the Internet? That is mindless eating because your attention is not on what you eat, how you feel when you eat, you are not present.

Jan Chozen Bays M.D from Psychology Today explained in his article what mindful eating is.

“Mindful eating involves paying full attention to the experience of eating and drinking, both inside and outside the body. We pay attention to the colors, smells, textures, flavors, temperatures, and even the sounds (crunch!) of our food. We pay attention to the experience of the body. Where in the body do we feel hunger? Where do we feel satisfaction? What does half-full feel like, or three quarters full?”

Why is mindful eating important for your energy and motivation?

Did you ever find yourself eating chips or whatever you like to mindlessly eat for comfort and hated it?

It doesn’t take long until “comfort food” becomes the reason you are frustrated. You can’t quit it though. You keep on doing it because it has become part of your routine.

Mindful eating can help you decide when and what to eat, eliminate junk food and make eating a nourishing and pleasurable experience.

You will eat healthier, resulting in more energy. Your motivation will increase as you will notice how simple habits can change your life.

Benefits of mindful eating include:

  • Gives back your control on what and when you want to eat
  • Reduces overeating and gaining weight
  • Improves your self-respect – you are no longer controlled by food cravings
  • You will enjoy food instead of feeling guilt
  • You will learn how to be present and aware
  • You will notice what emotions trigger impulsive eating and deal with them
  • You will feel empowered and motivated
  • Mindful eating will teach you how to pay attention, be less distracted and more focused

Start mindful eating in 5 simple steps:

So we’ve explored what mindful eating is, how it benefits you and why you should practice it.

Now here’s how to start practicing mindful eating!

  1. Be present and aware. Let’s say you are still hooked on your old eating habits and you have your chips and soda near in front of the TV or your PC. Take a moment to analyze how you feel about that. You won’t feel comfortable, will you? So why keep on repeating the same old destructive habits? You can replace bad eating habits with a meal at the table, in silence.
  2. Once you are at the table, start gaining awareness; while slowing down, sense everything that is related to your meal. The colors, the smells, the texture and the taste of the food. Try not to eat fast, take your time to feel how the food tastes in your mouth and think of the provenance of the food. That will help you appreciate each meal more and every bite will be a complex experience. It will also help your digestion and allow you to feel full while eating less.
  3. Eat less and enjoy more. It is very important to eat slowly, this way you get to fully enjoy the taste of the food and know when you are full. Eating a lot and fast kills the pleasure of eating and will make you overeat. You don’t have to actually eat less, but once you start eating slowly your body will have the time to notice when you are full and give you the signals in time.
  4. Focus your attention. You can start become more focused with mindful eating or you can start practicing mindful meditation which will help you gain the tools of becoming more focused when you eat.
  5. Think of eating as a ritual that must be practiced at a table, in silence. Detach it from other activities. It is very important to acknowledge the importance of slowing down, becoming more focused and aware.

Do you think it’s time to start doing things mindfully?

To get started you can use this exercise introduced by Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of mindfulness practice in the West.

“If you truly get in touch with a piece of carrot, you get in touch with the soil, the rain, the sunshine. You get in touch with Mother Earth and eating in such a way, you feel in touch with true life, your roots, and that is meditation. If we chew every morsel of our food in that way we become grateful and when you are grateful, you are happy.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

 

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Georgiana Green is a freelance writer who writes about a wide range of topics including natural remedies, meditation and mental health. She practices meditation on a daily basis and is always researching natural remedies. She also loves nature and traveling to new destinations.