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MENTAL WELLNESS

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

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

B
Bajaj Finserv Health
March 31st, 2022
9 mins read

Health-conscious eating or mindful eating refers to the process of increasing your awareness about what you eat and how you eat. This helps you better enjoy the food that you eat by helping you slow down your eating process. [1]. These mindful eating techniques can help improve symptoms of 

  • Depression 
  • Eating disorders 
  • Anxiety
  • Obesity 
  • Stress

Mindful eating benefits you by promoting heathy eating habits, preventing overeating, and improving your mental health. Make sure you avoid watching TV or scrolling through social media while eating. These distractions often lead to less satisfaction with your meals, overeating, and no awareness about what you are putting in your body. Wondering what is mindful eating and how is it beneficial? Read on to know.

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, meditation, is also 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! Mindful eating is also about appreciating what is on your plate and giving a thought to how nutrients help your body and brain.

Mindful Eating

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. Taking a 5-day mindful eating challenge has become common among people. 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: Nutrition Concepts For A Healthy Diet

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 do face trouble slowing down, try some deep breathing before starting your meal. Experts also suggest meditation of 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 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 in 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.

Tips for mindful eating

Tips for mindful eating

What are the benefits of mindful eating? 

There are various benefits of conscious eating such as the following.  

1. Weight loss 

With mindful eating, weight loss is one of the benefits that you can enjoy. This way of eating helps change your food habits by decreasing mindless eating and helping you stop when you feel full. It also helps avoid overeating. It is also a great way to regulate your body weight [3].

2. Reduces stress 

Cortisol is sometimes also known as the stress hormone. It is involved in your body’s fight or flight response. When there is high feeling of stress, your cortisol level increases. Research shows mindfulness exercises like mindful eating and sleeping helps reduce cortisol levels [4].

benefits of mindful eating

3. Improves digestion 

Digestive conditions like irritable bowel syndrome are affected by your stress levels. By reducing your stress, improved digestion is one of the benefits of mindful eating. Research suggests that it also improves your digestion by reducing overeating and improving how much you chew [5].

4. Improves your food choices 

With mindful eating techniques, you become more aware of your food and how it makes you feel. You may choose more nutritious food options while reducing emotional eating. This also gives you a chance to eat food that leaves you energized. So, instead of feeling bloated, sluggish or overly full after meals you will feel motivated.

5. Awareness of hunger and feeling full 

If you eat without any distractions, you learn how your fulness and hunger cues feel like. It will take time for your stomach to register that you are full, so slow down and give your body time to tell you that you have had enough. Instead of hurrying through all the food present in your plate, take time to understand how much you really need. If you are hungry, you will feel things like a grumbling stomach, fatigue or increased irritability. On the other hand, if you are full, you will feel a loss of hunger, pressure in the stomach area or just disinterest in the food in front of you.

Additional read: Tips for Food Craving

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, 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 tips and improve your health by booking an online consultation in minutes.

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