The following Meditation for Mindful Eating, is a guest post by Shelly Stinson, a freelance writer based out of Denver, CO. See more about Shelly below.
Have you ever sat down in front of your computer or television with a bag of chips or cookies, only to reach into the bag just a few minutes later and realize it’s empty? While checking your social media pages, reading your emails, or watching your favorite reality show, you managed to consume more calories than you should probably eat in an entire day—all because you weren’t mindful of what you were eating (or how much).
If this is you, don’t beat yourself up because you certainly aren’t alone. This is a common issue that plagues many people, and it totally makes sense. In this day and age of trying to get more done in less time, it’s easy to fall into the multi-tasking trap where you think that you’re doing yourself favors by taking care of two or more things at once.
However, by doing other things while eating, studies have found that you’re more likely to consume more food than you would if you simply ate meal and did nothing else, paying full attention to the foods on your plate. These same studies also discovered that if you focus more on mindful eating, it will also likely result in eating less food later in the day as well. One way to create this level of focus is to meditate. (1)
Meditation for Mindful Eating
Benefits of Meditation
When you regularly take the time to meditate, you experience a large number of benefits. These range from lower blood pressure to having better immune response and feeling less stressed, which means that meditation affects you both physically and mentally. It can also help you become more mindful of the foods you eat. (2)
By slowing your body down and living in the present, which is basically what meditation is all about, you are able to be more attentive of the foods you put in your body. This puts you in the driver’s seat when it comes to making healthier meals and eating proper portion sizes. Ultimately, it gives you control over your food instead of letting your food control you.
This technique has worked for many people who struggle with making better food choices, from the fresh-from-high-school college student who is hoping to avoid the freshman 15 to the working parent who is trying to take care of a family while holding down a full-time job. How do you do it?
How to Meditate For Mindful Eating
While engaging in meditation on a regular basis can help you make more deliberate life choices in general, it also helps to use this same method at meal time. For instance, Prevention published an eating meditation article a short time back that involves taking a couple deep breaths, appreciating your food, and noticing its color and texture before you even take a bite. It also includes paying attention to how it makes you feel after you’ve eaten so you realize what effect it has on your mind.
By taking these types of mindful and deliberate actions every time you eat, you will be fully engaged in the process. This helps you make better, healthier choices so you live a fuller, longer life.
Shelly Stinson is a freelance writer based out of Denver, CO. When she’s not practicing yoga or trying out a new healthy recipe you can find her exploring the beautiful Colorado mountains. Follow her on twitter at @shellystins.
Featured Image by Joshua Rappeneker.
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