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The art of mindful eating: Savoring every bite

Ashley Lucas

Have you ever noticed that sometimes you eat without really paying attention to what you’re doing? You might be watching TV or scrolling through your phone while gobbling down a meal. But what if I told you that there’s a different way to approach eating – one that can bring more enjoyment, satisfaction and even better health? It’s called mindful eating, and it’s all about being fully present and aware of the eating experience.

Mindful eating is a practice that encourages you to slow down and appreciate your food. Instead of rushing through meals, you take the time to savor each bite and truly experience the flavors, textures and smells. By doing so, you become more attuned to your body’s needs and signals, leading to a healthier relationship with food.

One of the key aspects of mindful eating is eating slowly. When you eat quickly, you tend to overeat because your brain doesn’t have enough time to register when your stomach is full. By slowing down, you allow your body to communicate with you and let you know when you’ve had enough. So next time you sit down for a meal, try to pace yourself and enjoy each bite.

Another important element of mindful eating is appreciating how the food nourishes your body. Instead of thinking of food as something to simply fill your stomach, you can view it as fuel for your body. When you eat mindfully, you can truly acknowledge the nutrients and energy that each bite provides. This awareness can help you make healthier choices and develop a better understanding of your body’s needs.

Paying attention to hunger cues is another crucial aspect of mindful eating. Often, you eat out of habit or in response to your emotions, rather than in response to genuine hunger. Mindful eating encourages you to tune in to your body and eat when you’re truly hungry. By doing so, you can avoid mindless snacking and unnecessary calories. So, the next time you reach for a snack, take a moment to ask yourself if you’re truly hungry or if there’s another underlying reason for wanting to eat.

Lastly, mindful eating involves eating with intention. Instead of mindlessly consuming whatever is in front of you, choose your meals and snacks purposefully. This means selecting foods that are both nourishing and enjoyable. By making conscious choices about what you eat, you can cultivate a deeper appreciation for the food you consume and develop a healthier relationship with your diet.

Mindful eating has gained popularity as a strategy for managing emotional eating and developing a healthy relationship with food. When you eat mindfully, you become more aware of your emotions and how they influence your eating habits. This awareness allows you to make conscious decisions about whether to eat, even when faced with emotional triggers. By bringing mindfulness into your eating, you can break free from unhealthy patterns and find balance.

The practice of mindful eating invites you to bring awareness and intention to your meals. By eating slowly, appreciating how food nourishes your body, paying attention to hunger cues and eating with intention, you can transform your relationship with food. Mindful eating allows you to savor every bite, make healthier choices and develop a greater understanding of your body.

So, let’s put down our distractions, take a deep breath and embark on a mindful eating journey – one that nourishes both your body and your mind.

Ashley Lucas has a doctorate in sports nutrition and chronic disease. She is also a registered dietitian nutritionist. She is the founder and owner of PHD Weight Loss and Nutrition, offering weight management and wellness services in the Four Corners. She can be reached at 764-4133.