Mindful eating brings together your love of food with a healthy dose of impulse control
America has an eating problem, and a weight-loss answer may be simpler than some folks imagine. Mindful eating isn’t like any diet you’ve probably heard of—it merely changes the way we think about food so we can redirect bad habits and control impulses.
The potential benefits of mindful eating:
- Change bad eating habits
- Help lose weight and keep it off
- Provides a peaceful mindset
Many of us are so busy now that we rarely take the time to sit down and enjoy a meal. And this is where mindful eating shines!
The three bad eating habits of the diet-apocalypse:
1. Binge Eating. This happens when you sit and eat a huge portion, in a short time, without any control.
According to mindful eating techniques, this is why skipping meals can be a bad idea. In some cases, your food becomes a way to fill a void instead of a way to satisfy your body. We eat quickly because we’re “starving,” which then turns into over-eating.
Did you know it takes your brain 20 minutes to realize you’re full?! Try mindfully eating three meals (or more smaller meals) a day, so you’re not so hungry you wolf down your entire plate of food in 5 minutes.
2. Emotional Eating. This is when you eat because you’re feeling a certain way—like the cliché of eating a bucket of ice cream in response to a break-up.
A great way to use mindful eating to help you deal with this bad habit is to eat at set times and places. Break that random routine of routing through your cabinets when you’re bored or feeling stressed.
If you train yourself to eat at set times—preferably with someone—you won’t fall victim to eating every hour just because you’re trying to placate a feeling. Also, eating with another person may help you slow down and more fully enjoy your meal or snack.
3. Environmental Eating. This is when you munch because something in your atmosphere is cueing you to do it. For example, driving along and seeing a billboard of a burger and fries might signal your brain to crave those things, even when you’re not particularly hungry.
To stop this from happening, practice paying attention to your body’s physical hunger cues. And ask yourself why you want to get some food.
A huge aspect of mindful eating is listening to your body and not just your brain. You should wait until you feel some signs of physical hunger, like a growling stomach or low energy. Don’t go too long between meals, but make sure you’re scarfing down a feast for the right reasons.
When you first start your mindful eating journey, make sure you’re asking yourself why you are eating. Is it because you’re actually hungry, or is it because of an emotional or environmental cue?
Mindful Eating may also help you lose weight! It’s a lifestyle change that teaches you to eliminate bad habits and control unhealthy impulses, and it even alters the way you eat your food. Doing these things could help you drop the pounds.
Eating mindfully takes practice, but here are some beginner’s guidelines:
- Eat slowly: it should take at least 30 minutes to finish a meal
- Eliminate distractions: no electronics while eating
- Focus on your food: what tastes can you pick out?
- Shop with a purpose: buy healthy food; and no impulse purchases
Doing these things makes eating an intentional act. It’s no longer a thoughtless process done while scrolling social media or working at your desk.
The emotional benefits of mindful eating
We’ve discussed emotional eating as a bad habit, but what about how to deal with those feelings that cause you to nosh when you’re not hungry? Stress, anxiety, and depression are all dominant conditions that cause people to turn to food for comfort.
When you practice mindfulness, you focus on the present while acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts, and physical sensations. Practicing it daily has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression—and mindful eating is an extension of this philosophy.
Mindful eating teaches you to focus on the present and not on other stress factors. What is going on at work or your personal life is no longer at your forefront while you’re sitting down for a meal. Your tastebuds and company are.
CBD may help you chill and achieve mindfulness
If you find yourself struggling to focus, anxiety continues to berate you daily, or you simply can’t clear your head long enough to sit and enjoy a meal, then CBD may help.
CBD’s chill effects can help you focus on the present and not worry about what happened last week or what is coming up tomorrow. Many people find that these handy cannabinoids help them take a deep breath and enjoy what’s in front of them now.
If you’d like to try adding CBD to your relaxed, mindful repertoire, check out our selection of the good stuff. And if you subscribe, you get 20% off on products delivered to your door!