Eating mindlessly, or without consideration, has become the norm for many people with busy and hectic lifestyles. As a result, many people are prone to unconscious eating, which is the act of eating while distracted by other things.
In contrast, mindful eating focuses your mind on what you are eating and being present in the moment. This can be beneficial to create a sense of awareness of what and how much you are eating, as well as the taste and smell. Mindful eating also involves listening to your body and its cues when you are hungry or full and using your senses to acknowledges your likes/dislikes.
It takes the average person 20 minutes to feel full. Therefore, the slower you eat your food the greater likelihood you will start to feel fuller quicker and consequently eat less. In comparison, eating quickly or unconsciously can cause bloating, wind, overeating and make it harder for the body to digest the food.
It is important when eating to try and focus purely on eating, rather than being distracted by your phone or TV, which are cues for mindless eating. By eating unconsciously, you not only fail to understand what you are eating, but you also miss out on the flavours and what the food tastes like.
Here are some small steps to more mindful eating:
- Leave your phone on the side when eating
- Sitting at a table to eat
- Attempting to chew your food 32 times per mouthful
- Put your knife and fork down between each mouthful
- And most importantly, listen to your body for cues!
Mindful eating can become a healthy habit if you practice it regularly. Watch our module on mindful eating and use the resources to help you put into practice what you have learnt.