Has this ever happened to you – You sit down in front of the TV with a bag of chips and a coke. As you’re watching your favorite show, the bag is full one minute, and empty the next. And you wonder how they disappeared so fast?
Here’s another one. You are on a diet and you crave something sweet. You open your refrigerator to find a cake or ice cream and you decide to eat only a couple of bites. Before you know, you’ve eaten far more than what you were wanted, and you feel guilty afterward
Do these sound familiar? These are some examples of mindless eating. This style of mindless snacking isn’t that great for our health.
What’s an alternative approach? It’s called mindful eating. What is mindful eating? K Sumanandini, a nutritionist based in Vizag shares her insights.
Mindful eating allows us to gain control over our eating habits and help us become more aware of the physical or emotional cues of food. Mindfulness is a physiological process where you focus on the present moment without any judgment. In mindful eating, since the attention is on food and being completely aware of it, you manage your emotional and physical sensations better, says the nutritionist.
The following points below show you the differences between mindless and mindful eating.
Mindless Eating vs Mindful eating:
1. Eating or cooking with any kind of negative emotions vs Eating or cooking in a good mood.
2. Eating more than or less than your normal diet and ignoring body signals vs Listening to your body and stopping when full.
3. Eating just before sleep vs Keeping an interval of at least two to three hours between dinner and sleeping
4. Eating when emotions tell you to eat (e.g. when you’re sad, bored, angry or lonely) vs Eating when your bodies tell us to eat (e.g. stomach growling or when your energy is low)
5. Eating alone at random times and places vs Eating with others at a set time and places.
6. Rushing while eating or gulping your food without chewing properly vs Eating with a normal pace and chewing food properly.
7. Eating while multitasking vs Focusing on only the food while eating without any distractions.
By making small changes in how you prepare and to consume food, you can make a dramatic difference in our health and wellbeing, adds Sumanandini. Other benefits include:
● Reduce stress
● Increase enjoyment
● Easier digestion
● Reduce calories
● Lose weight
● Less binge eating
● Reduced food cravings
Speaking to Hello Vizag, Sumanandini, said, “I believe that mindful eating can help not just our bodies but also our minds. I offer personal coaching and online consultation on achieving a balanced diet and lifestyle. If you’d like to learn more, you can get in touch on email@example.com.”
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