Posted by Kat Powers on
Listening to Your Body
Mindful eating as a coined phrase largely refers to the ability to sense and respond to your body's cues of hunger and satiety. When your body is hungry, eat, and when you are full, stop eating. It is best when developing this skill to avoid media exposure during your meal, although it is not necessary to be alone or to have complete silence.
Be present with your food, chew it enough, breath regularly. Although it takes practice and effort at first, it can become easier over time and even aid digestion. Your saliva contains salivary enzymes, which helps to break down your food, so it's important to hold your food in your mouth and chew it. This may also slow down your eating, allowing more clear cues of fullness sooner.
The Stress Factor
Mitigating stress and other strong emotions in a healthy way can help reduce the propensity to emotionally eat. Meditation is a great way to do that. Some apps have stress break programs that run in as little as 3 minutes, although regular meditation is the most beneficial. Metta is the practice of loving kindness, and can be directed toward the self. When struggling with eating patterns, self-love is key. When you fall off course, love your self and get back on. Simple.
Therapy, yoga, acupuncture, herbs, and authentic connection with others can also be beneficial in managing stress.
The Importance of Regularity
It is important to eat regularly. In a state of rest (non-exercise awake state) the brain requires glucose to function, and your brain is responsible for keeping your cardiovascular and all body systems functioning properly.
According to Chinese medicine principles, regularity is very beneficial to your digestive system and energy level. It is encouraged to wake, eat, and sleep at roughly the same time every day. This benefits the Spleen - one of the primary organs responsible for transforming your food into Qi and spreading it through the body. Waiting too long between meals can cause irritability, dizziness, and spikes and dips in energy.
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