Guest post by Laura-Lee ♥
Mindfulness Eating: Meditation for Meal Time
So much positive media has been directed at mindfulness eating lately, there’s little doubt you’ve heard something about the benefits of it. But did you realize that bringing acute awareness to mealtime is all but replacing the notion of “dieting”? Thank goodness for that! Where other fitness trends fail, mindful eating succeeds.
As the study results pour in, mindful eating exercises are proving to be a truly tangible, measurable, way to live a healthier, happier lifestyle — long term. Fad diets are on their way out, mindfulness eating is in.
Mindfulness Eating Benefits
- Make healthier food choices.
- Enjoy food and meal time more.
- Connect to the important moments breaking bread with others.
- Better digestion & nutrient absorption.
- Never diet again — eat less, feel more satisfied.
- All the benefits of meditation.
- Develop closer relationship to natural appetite.
- Feel fullness signals more acutely — stops over eating.
- Rehabilitates emotional eaters.
- Makes meal time a real break — Hygge-friendly.
Mindful Eating Tips
1. Rehabilitate your relationship with your healthiest self – it’s your nature
Mindful eating exercise can bring awareness, first and foremost, to what you’re eating. This alone can dramatically influence your food choices. In fact, research now suggests a mindfulness weight loss program is the most promising avenue for sustainable weight loss (source). Click the link above for a very good example of one.
2. Slow down and really taste that chocolate
That’s right, mindful eating not only helps you make better food choices, the practice makes your treats more enjoyable!
Mindful Eating Exercise:
Chocolate is an excellent way to practice this: choose a nice dark chocolate and really sink into the experience.
3. The ritual of breaking bread is intrinsic to healthy relationships
Habits form your life. It’s not what we do, but what we do repeatedly that shapes our reality. Being present at meal time is an important ritual for relationships. Plus, this habit is a really easy way to make sure you check in with your loved ones on a regular basis.
Mindful Eating Exercise:
Share your experience with the people you dine with: ask if everyone would be willing to metaphorically step away from everything beyond the table for the entire meal time and focus simply on tasting, feeling, sensing their food and touching base with each other. Take breaks in between bites to put your utensils down and chat with someone or just listen. This simple but powerful practice can really enliven tired or digitally drained people (see 10).
4. Chew your food – most of us aren’t doing it!
I know, I know, you’ve heard this before. But think about it: do you know what your stomach looks like? And your teeth, can you picture them? Which do you think has an easier time breaking down your food? Help your digestive system out and do the chewing work first! Most of us could accelerate health exponentially by simply chewing our food (our digestive system is the hub of our body).
5. Intuitive eating is the new diet
Mindful eating is the first step to learning how to eat intuitively. You can learn more about intuitive eating by clicking the link above, but mindfulness eating meditation is an important facet of any good intuitive eating program; intuitive eating practices focus more on resolving your relationship to your unique appetite in order to make healthier food choices for your unique body. This is how some people are able to tap into their natural health and appetite to truly ditch ‘the diet’ for good!
6. Reduce anxiety, lower inflammation, restore peace mindset
If all of these benefits ween’t enough: mindfulness eating is a bonafide mediation practice, and you therefore gain all of the benefits of meditation by practicing it!
(How would you like a slice of vegan chocolate cake with a side of buddhist enlightenment? Anyone?)
7. What you’re actually hungry for may be a mystery at present
Like intuitive eating practices (mentioned in 5), mindful eating can uncover your natural appetite. Bringing your awareness to your meals can do wonders to remove mind chatter that can oftentimes disrupt communication with your authentic hunger.
8. Switch your brain to abundance mindset so there is no need to rush or overeat
When you practice mindfulness at meal time, you will unconsciously be sending yourself the powerful signal that there is enough. Much of overeating is done in subconscious anxiety over scarcity. When we rush to eat, our ‘full’ signal only registers far past the time we are actually full. Plus, a subconscious sense of ‘scarcity’ can make us ignore our ‘full’ signal in an effort to get enough. This is one way subconscious mind reprogramming therapy has such enormous effects on health (see link for more).
9. Mindfulness eating meditation can uncover emotional desires sought in food
It is hard to hide emotional eating from yourself when you are mindfully focussing on the present moment, each bite you take, and how you are feeling about it. Minor upsets or desires we seek to fill with food can easily be shifted using mindful eating techniques.
10. Hygge meal time revamps our energy levels and is a great way to reset, transition and freshen our spirits
Denmark is the happiest country in the world. Many people note that the concept of Hygge may have some part to play in this. Among other things, hygge places special value in taking breaks, enjoying good food, unplugging, and relishing simple moments — like meal time. These cultural holds have never been more important than in todays media-filled climate.
Mindfulness Eating Meditation for a Healthy, Healing Lifestyle
Our health is reliant on what we choose to do with our time everyday. Creating good habits — like eating mindfully — are simple, powerful, and effective ways to ensure we are making healthy choices: Every. Single. Day. When we begin focusing on calming ourselves, and aligning with our natural urges, natural body recomposition starts to happen effortlessly. We can then stop collectively focussing and obsessing about diets for weight loss, and our bodies can begin to balance themselves according to their natural, healthiest instincts.
As incredible as the world we live in today is (comparatively) we have so much information & opportunities at our finger tips, it’s sometimes easier to feel the ‘overwhelm’ instead of the inherent freedom of our age. Mindfulness meal time can be like pressing force-quit on digital overload, as well as any other stressor, and when we make a daily habit of it, we set ourselves up to reap the benefits of meditation regardless of changing circumstances.
About the Author:
Laura-Lee Bowers is an eco traveller, plant based writer & integrated researcher. She gave up a promising academic career to follow her dream of living a life-more-magical — sustainably.
Instead of classroom curriculum, she now develops programs online: available for anyone who wants to slay their goals — holistically.
Thank you so so much Laura-Lee for this post. It has inspired me and taught me many things at the same time, and I hope it was the same for all of you reading this.
Don’t hesitate to visit Laura-Lee and leave her a comment with your questions.
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I wish you a love-filled day xoxo