What Is Mindful Eating? Why Is It So Important For Everyone, Especially Physically Active People?
A 21st century way of life is rushed, busy, frantic, and all the time people feel as if they don’t have enough time during the day to finish all their tasks and chores. The problem isn’t a 24-hour time frame. It’s the pressure and the stress of the modern age, which affect all spheres of our lives, including sleeping and eating habits. The trend of mindless eating has led to a global overweight and obesity pandemic. But, this doesn’t mean that physically active people shouldn’t switch to mindful eating, as it takes more than just exercise to improve the quality of life and ensure overall well-being.
Cool Your Jets
It seems that nowadays people are too busy to even have a life, let alone sit and have a proper meal without shoveling in. Mindful eating is about slowing down and savoring every bite you take. Apart from eating lots of empty calories and gaining weight, mindless eating is responsible for numerous health issues such as poor digestion, higher triglyceride and bad cholesterol levels, not to mention that it increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. It’s not enough just to go for a run in the morning, especially if your lunch consists of a hamburger with fries. In order to prevent all those unpleasant and hazardous side effects, it’s essential to listen to your body, be able to recognize when you’re hungry, be aware of what you eat, and be mentally present when you eat. A recent clinical trial has shown that mindful eating can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Remove all possible distractors such as mobile devices, newspapers, or TV, and focus on your food.
The Importance of Being Mindful
Mindful eating has excellent effects when it is combined with yoga practice. These two healthy lifestyles come hand in hand and complement each other. According to a research study, practicing yoga can encourage mindfulness in eating, and it subsequently leads to weight loss. Interestingly, this study found no link between other types of physical activities, such as running or swimming, and mindful eating. It can be concluded that calming and soothing elements of yoga lead to a change in lifestyle. Let’s not forget that many people don’t eat when they’re physically hungry but when they’re nervous, sad, or upset. Yoga reduces stress, thus preventing emotional eating. Still, it wouldn’t be fair to say that adopting healthy eating habits and lifestyle is easy. Just like hiring a personal trainer is necessary if you want a suitable and effective workout plan, an experienced wellness coach can help you achieve emotional balance and improve the overall quality of your life.
Biting Off More Than You Can Chew
Athletes and people who are physically active often believe that they can grab a bite or two more, simply because they will train and burn off calories and fat. However, this is a mistake because it leads directly into mindless eating, which means that a person can get carried away and start overeating, not to mention that people usually use exercise as an excuse to eat junk food. This means that even if your body looks toned and muscular, and you’re not providing it with enough nutrients and healthy food, in the long run your physique will start suffering, too. In order to make the most out of exercising, your body needs proper fuel, and mindful eating will help you with that. This approach to food will energize your body and mind, making you eat less.
Back To Basics
Take a raisin. Hold it for a while and focus on it. Touch it, explore it, smell it, and finally put it in your mouth. Try to feel its texture and taste. Chew it slowly and enjoy every moment of it. This is a blurb of one of the introductory exercises for mindful eating. Namely, the point is to be absolutely aware of everything you eat and be completely concentrated on the process. Here are a few easy tips that can help you get started with this eating philosophy:
- Mindful eating isn’t about dieting and starving. It’s paying attention to food, and realizing what’s best for your body.
- When serving food, opt for smaller portions.
- When you’re eating, don’t do anything else. Sit down and savor every mouthful.
- Eat slowly and chew each bite for about 30 times before swallowing it.
- Never skip your meals, and try to have them always at the same time.
- Think about what you’re eating,
- Be grateful for the food you have.
- Don’t eat unless you’re actually hungry.
Mindful eating is crucial for athletes and physically active people if they want to improve the quality of their life and enjoy long-term benefits of their exercises.