In our fast paced world, most people grab a quick bite of lunch on the go, while driving, working or watching television. Did you know, when you eat in this fashion, you activate stress hormones, and your fight or flight response? This means that your digestive system slows or shuts down completely. That’s right, when you’re eating AND active, the very thing you need, your digestive system, isn’t working properly, if at all. So…the old myth “don’t swim right after you eat” isn’t a myth. But, not because you’ll drown, but because your food won’t digest properly.
Here are a few infographics that will help you understand just what happens when you’re body is undergoing stress/exercise/activity.
What’s the best way to eat? MINDFUL EATING. What is mindful eating?
- Focusing on the healthy, positive, nutritive qualities of the food
- Use your senses to eat meals that heal, satiate and nourish your body
- Accept your body’s response to food, such as likes and dislikes, without judging.
- Focus on hunger and satiety indications-allowing you to decide when to eat and when to stop.
BENEFITS OF MINDFUL EATING
- Begin to understand your body’s satiation cues.
- Learn to enjoy food again…really focus on and taste it.
- Realize how unhealthy food affects you.
- As a result, mindful eating can help you lose weight.
- Overtime, you can learn to heal issues surrounding food.
- You won’t overeat during social occasions
- Eating becomes more pleasant
- Focus on how food affects mood, feelings and happiness
- Learn what food gives you energy or drains you.
How to get started with Mindful Eating
- EAT SLOW- Chewing is part of the digestive process. Your mom was right when she told you to CHEW YOUR FOOD-THOROUGHLY, until it’s liquid. Savor your food and enjoy the experience.
- EAT IN SILENCE-If possible-which might not be possible with big groups or families. But, try to encourage everyone to focus on the food, where it came from, being thankful for the meal. ENJOY THE SILENCE.
- TURN OFF ALL ELECTRONICS-Yes, phones too. 🙂 Turn off stereos, radios, televisions and phones. Try to do this as often as possible, but at least one meal a week.
- PAY ATTENTION TO FLAVOR-Focus on the details of the food-flavor, texture, spice. What does it feel like?
- KNOW YOUR FOOD-Where did it come from? Who grew it? How did it get here? How does it help (or hurt) your body?
- EAT FOR NUTRITION, NOT EMOTION-Comfort food tends to be unhealthy, processed food. The longer you eat for health, choosing nutrients and variety over comfort, the cravings will dissipate. Soon, you will crave healthy foods instead.
Mindful eating helps you focus on the food, the contents, and nutrient value of the food. OR, it helps you realize how awful it makes you feel. It also helps you conquer cravings. When a craving approaches, focusing on the food being craved, the contents of the food, what are the current emotions causing you to crave this food, and how it will make you feel after you eat it, will help the craving to dissipate.
Here is a 4:42 meditation video to help you conquer your cravings, brought to you by: Sonima
This meditation by Jamie Zimmerman, M.D., will help you learn to handle food cravings with greater awareness and intention.