What is Health-Conscious Eating? Five Benefits of Mindful Eating!

What is Health-Conscious Eating? Five Benefits of Mindful Eating!

Bajaj Finserv Health
March 31, 20226 mins read

Key Takeaways

  • Mindful eating techniques increase your awareness about what you eat
  • Benefits of conscious eating include improved digestion and reduced stress
  • Use these mindful eating tips in your daily routine for a healthy lifestyle

With time, new healthy practices come to the fore, and one that has become a lot more popular is mindful eating. In fact, the 5-day mindful eating challenge has become common among people. But what is mindful eating, and how is it beneficial? Simply put, health-conscious eating or mindful eating refers to a unique approach to eating food. Here, you are meant to be fully attentive to the experience of eating and completely aware of the foods you ingest. This is intended to help you better enjoy the food you eat by helping you slow down the process. [1]. These mindful eating techniques can help improve symptoms of

  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Obesity
  • Stress

Mindful eating benefits you by promoting healthy eating habits, preventing overeating, and improving your mental health. It can also fix a few habits that you may have picked up over the years, which include watching TV or scrolling through social media while eating. These distractions lower satisfaction with your meals and decrease your awareness of the things you consume. For a deep dive into this unique approach and to know its benefits, read on. 

Mindful Eating

What is involved in mindful or conscious eating? 

Mindful eating helps you make conscious decisions about what you include in your meals. The trick is to slow down and pay attention to your food during mealtime. It is focusing on your food and listening to what your stomach and brain are telling you. One of the components of mindful eating is meditation, which is key to this approach. It helps you improve mental health conditions like depression and anxiety [2]. 

Another component is to engage all your senses of touch, smell, and sight. This helps you notice how the food looks and smells so you can appreciate flavor and texture too! As you become more attentive to your food, your connection with it improves. In fact, mindful eating can help you pay more attention to the nutrients in your meal and how they benefit the body. 

What is the mindful eating challenge?

Think of a mindful eating challenge like a mindful eating exercise that helps you gain control over reckless eating habits and reduce emotional snacking. It helps you learn your fullness and hunger cues. It usually involves reducing any distractions during meals, learning to check in with yourself emotionally before, during, and after a meal, slowing down while eating by chewing more or taking short breaks, meditating, and measuring your hunger and fullness on your own before and after a meal. 

Additional read: 6 Crucial Nutrition Concepts That Form a Key Part of a Healthy DietTips for mindful eating

How to practice conscious eating?

Mindful eating is a process that may take you some time to master. So, do not get frustrated if you find it a little challenging in the beginning! When you are used to a fast pace while having your meals, slowing down can be a bit of a task. If you make face trouble slowing down, try some deep breathing before starting your meal. Experts also suggest meditation for 2-5 minutes before you start eating. 

Here are a few mindful eating techniques that you can try: 

  • Shop smartly as the process of mindful eating starts before the meal itself. Try not to shop when you are hungry and stay on the side of the store where fresh food is kept. 
  • Remove unnecessary processed foods from your kitchen. 
  • Slow down. It will help you fill your stomach by eating less. 
  • Take down notes as you enjoy your meal like you are at a wine tasting. This forces you to notice things like textures and flavors that you would otherwise miss. 
  • Savor your food and take the time to enjoy each bite. Doing so will bring out the flavor in your plate.  
  • Tune out the world when you sit down for a meal. Eating in silence is a great way to do so, especially by avoiding reading or watching television.

What are the benefits of mindful eating?

There are many benefits of conscious eating, which include: 

Weight loss

With mindful eating, weight loss is one of the benefits that you can enjoy. This is primarily because it curbs mindless eating, which occurs when you aren’t paying attention to your food. This then reduces instances of overeating and doing so definitely helps weight loss efforts. Besides shedding a few kilos, mindful eating is also a great way to regulate your body weight [3].

Reduces stress

Cortisol spikes when you’re stressed and is linked with the stress you experience. If you are overly stressed, your cortisol level increases. One way to address this problem is to incorporate mindful eating into your routine. Owing to the fact that you are often recommended to meditate and take things slow, these practices can help minimize stress [4].

benefits of mindful eating

Improves digestion

Unchecked stress can lead to many problems, and a common manifestation is digestive distress. For instance, IBS or irritable bowel syndrome is greatly impacted by how stressed you are during the day. Thankfully, among the benefits of mindful eating is that it helps with stress and, in doing so, also helps with such issues. Additionally, mindful eating requires you to slow down the pace at which you consume your food, and this is known to help with digestion, too [5].

Helps choose better food options

Mindful eating techniques require you to understand the foods you consume, and to do so; you will have to know the nutrient content. In fact, it pushes you to learn about the different foods and how they impact the body. For instance, certain foods leave you feeling energized, and through mindful eating, you can develop a better relationship with food. Over time, it helps naturally reduce overeating and its associated issues, such as low energy and bloating. 

Better awareness of your hunger and satiety 

Mindful eating helps you rid your environment of distractions while you eat. This simple change has several profound benefits, which include a better understanding of your hunger cues. Moreover, it enables you to pay more attention to your satiety, effectively minimizing the chances of overeating. Remember, the body will take time to let you know that it is full, and eating too quickly can cause you to eat in excess very easily. Instead, slow down and learn to spot when you’re full and don’t need more food.

Some common cues of being full include a lack of hunger and interest in the food in front of you and increased pressure in your stomach. On the other hand, if you find yourself irritable, tired, or presenting with the popular sign of a gurgling stomach, consider these as signs of hunger. 

Additional read: Having a Food Craving That You Can’t Control? Try These 7 Tips

It may take time for you to understand how to practice mindful eating, but with patience and the right guidance, you will be able to attain all the benefits of conscious eating. By practicing this over time, you can integrate the mantra of conscious eating and conscious living into your daily life. If you want to learn more about these techniques or are struggling to follow them, consult specialists on Bajaj Finserv Health. You can get tips on how to slowly integrate these mindful eating tips and improve your health by booking an online consultation in minutes.

What is Health-Conscious Eating? Five Benefits of Mindful Eating! banner
  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5556586/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32406348/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26627097/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5069287/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7219460/

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.

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