Who on earth doesn’t want to have a healthy lifestyle and a fit body?
Everyone desires it…
But when it comes to practicing good habits, we step back. A disease-free life, an excellent physique, and much more are needed to live a healthy and happy life.
Is that even feasible with the number of calories, junk, and sugary meals we consume? No way!
Robert Urich, an American actor, once rightly quoted that, “A healthy outside started from the inside.” And I hope this explains why our topic of discussion today is mindful eating and intuitive eating.
Dieting culture is long gone, as people are now aware of its harmful effects. The new belief is that eating helps people connect with their bodies. And as a result, mindful and intuitive eating has gained momentum.
Mindful and intuitive eating can help us reconnect with our bodies and have healthier lives.
In today’s alert, we’ll learn the differences between mindful eating and intuitive eating…
Plus, we’ll reveal the ten principles of intuitive eating and why you must incorporate these habits into your lifestyle.
Table of Contents
What is mindful eating?
Stress and unhealthy eating habits go hand-in-hand.
One of the prevalent ways to cope with both of them is by practicing mindfulness–a Zen Buddhism-based concept. This concept is evolving to incorporate mindfulness-based eating into behavior modification programs with prescribed dietary modifications.
The term ‘mindfulness’ is the concept of being present mentally in the moment.
Due to the piling up of stress, workload, modern life, and many more factors… our minds tend to get burdened and disconnected from the body and its requirements.
Therefore, many visionaries suggest practicing mindful eating in 2021 and beyond.
With mindful eating, you pay attention to the five senses, bodily reactions, and food triggers. The body can help you learn how different foods affect it, and you can eventually skip things that harm your system.
Wonder how to incorporate mindful eating in your diet? Here are some of the tips that can help you to improve your life, body and mind.
Tips To Incorporate Mindful Eating
If you can get a grip on your mind and make it focused on the present with the medium – food – then stay assured that you have got a superpower. Consider trying the below-mentioned tips to incorporate mindful eating in your life.
- Question the following before eating
Before you begin eating, consider assessing your state of mind based on the questions that we have pointed out below.
- What’s my current state of mind? Am I calm, anxious, stressed, tired, or happy?
- Where has this food come from? Take a moment and appreciate the fact that you have access to your favorite food.
- Why are you eating right now? Are you hungry? Are you craving something to eat or are you looking for comfort? Are you bored? Are you eating because you won’t eat later?
- What are the flavors and textures of this dish?
- What is it about this meal that I like? What is it about this cuisine that I don’t like? Is this food fulfilling and gratifying to me?
- What effects does this food have on my physical and mental well-being?
- Take a moment and experience every bite
It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to eat mindfully through the course of an entire meal, so instead, focus on connecting with your body during every bite of your food.
- Slow and steady
Eat slowly and thoroughly. Feel the food in your mouth as you chew every bite. Monitor any feelings of fullness and stop eating when your hunger is gone.
- Avoid other activities
Whenever possible, avoid being distracted when eating. For example, get away from work, stop using your phone, switch off the television. All these extra activities will hinder us from checking in with our bodies or recognizing the cues they give.
Benefits of Mindful Eating
Eating your food with mindfulness brings a lot of benefits to your body. Let’s check out the seven advantages of mindful eating:
- It helps you understand how and what foods affect you during your meal
- Having a better knowledge of why you’re eating what you eat
- A better understanding of what foods you appreciate and what foods you don’t enjoy
- Heightens enjoyment, satisfaction, and pleasure from eating
- More gratitude and appreciation for the meals you eat
- By understanding the non-nutrition benefits of eating, you feel less guilty for the food that you’re eating
- Learn to pay attention to your body signals.
What is intuitive eating?
We’ve been intuitive eaters since the day we were born. We tend to rely on our body cues to alert us if we’re hungry or full from childhood. Young bodies know very well when to stop eating or push food out of their way.
Unfortunately, things like “nutrition education”, which categorizes foods as either “good” or “bad”, might cause us to lose touch with our intuitive eating as we get older.
When it comes to eating intuitively, experts say it’s all about listening to your body, and heeding its warnings flags, as related to the state of hunger. As a result of this intuition, you let go of the assumption that you have to lose or gain weight to achieve a specific body image. Instead, the goal is to direct your attention to foods that are most beneficial to your body, mind, and emotional well-being.
Dietitians Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch created the ten principles of intuitive eating in 1995. These principles combine the aspects of mindful eating with a further extension of incorporating the emotional and rational thoughts about food to find pleasure when eating. In this evidence-based, mind-body wellness approach, we will learn how to break the dieting cycle and become more healthy.
10 Principles of Intuitive Eating
The following is a summary of the ten concepts of intuitive eating:
- Reject the diet mentality
Toss off all of the misleading information and false hopes of losing weight through fad diets and instead focus on healthy eating.
- Eat when you are hungry
Hunger is not at all a threat to your survival. You are more prone to overeat if you allow yourself to become excessively hungry. Feeding your body in response to early signs of hunger is a good idea.
- Make peace with food
Time to end the ‘do not eat this food’ concept! Instead, give yourself the freedom to gorge on whatever you want. When asked to stop eating a particular food, it can eventually lead to intense desires of deprivation, which results in bingeing more often.
- Discover the satisfaction factor
Take time to savor your meal. Eat something that makes you happy. Take a seat and eat your meal to the ultimate satisfaction.
The more enjoyable your mealtimes, the less food you’ll need to satisfy your hunger.
- Challenge the food police
The term “food police” refers to individuals who make judgments on food. They may believe that healthy foods are better and unhealthy foods are worse.
Intuitive eating encourages people to dispel these misconceptions.
- Cope with your emotions through kindness
Emotional eating is a term used to describe when people eat to cope with unpleasant or hard feelings.
Choosing various ways to cope with these kinds of feelings is one of the ten principles of intuitive eating. Writing in a diary, going for a walk, reading a book, or calling a family member or friend are some of the tactics you can use rather than bingeing on food.
- Feel your fullness
Please pay close attention to your body’s signals that tell you that you’re no longer hungry and that it’s time to stop eating.
- Exercise for the body and mind
Instead of concentrating on the calorie-burning effects of exercise, pay attention to how your body and mind feel after a workout.
- Respect your body
Embrace your body. Every body is different. Pay less attention to the number on the scale and focus instead on how your body naturally feels and works at its healthiest.
- Honor your health – gentle nutrition
Use nutrition to guide your meal selections. Respect your desire to eat, while concentrating on the foods that make you feel good about yourself and your body.
Benefits of Intuitive Eating
The benefits of intuitive eating have been analyzed in hundreds of research papers.
- Improved self-esteem and body confidence
- Emotional coping abilities get strengthened
- Repaired and increased metabolism
- Dynamic eating rates have decreased
- Lower triglyceride levels and higher levels of HDL cholesterol
- Incidences of disordered eating get reduced
- Greater sense of well-being in one’s life
Get Started Today!
While beginning to practice mindful and intuitive eating, there will be lots of obstacles and bumps on the way. However, you will soon learn to understand your body’s demands and find fulfillment in the eating experience with constant practice.
To achieve long-term results, you must be patient with yourself and enjoy the experience of developing a better mind-body connection, while also improving your attitude towards eating. Mindful eating and intuitive eating are complementary disciplines that, when utilized together, can assist you in finding peace with virtually all aspects of your eating.
Suhana Siddika, Clinical Nutritionist
Health Trends Alert