qoo.ly Mind Your Food: Mindful Eating – AM PM Medical Scrubs

Mind Your Food: Mindful Eating

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By Maria McGowan, Canada

They say you are what you eat. And then you add “mindful eating” to the equation. It’s like, huh? We see our food, open our mouth and we eat it. So now we’re told to “think” about it?

Um, sure. It’s kinda like that but here’s how we view mindful eating.

Mindful eating is about using mindfulness to reach a state of full attention to your experiences, cravings and physical cues when eating. It’s being present instead of thinking of all the other things we could be doing while scarfing down lunch.

Mindful eating involves:

  • Eating slowly and without distraction.
  • Listening to physical hunger cues and eating only until you're full.
  • Distinguishing between actual hunger and non-hunger triggers for eating.
  • Engaging your senses by noticing colors, smells, sounds, textures and tastes.
  • Learning to cope with guilt and anxiety about food.
  • Eating to maintain overall health and well-being.
  • Noticing the effects food has on your feelings and figure.
  • Appreciating your food.

Bottom line: Mindful eating relies on mindfulness, a form of meditation. Mindful eating is about developing awareness of your experiences, physical cues and feelings about food.

Why is it good to try?

Eating has become a mindless act, often done quickly. This can be problematic since it actually takes the brain up to 20 minutes to realize you're full. And we all know how much we are time-starved.

If you eat too fast, the fullness signal may not arrive until you've already eaten too much.

On top of that, distractions have shifted our attention away from the actual act of eating, and onto televisions, computers, and smartphones.

Mindful eating may be very helpful in weight loss, changing eating behaviors and reducing the stress associated with eating. Since eating is often related to our emotions.

How to practice Mindful Eating:

  • Eat more slowly.
  • Chew thoroughly.
  • Eliminate distractions by turning off the TV and putting down your phone.
  • Eat in silence.
  • Focus on how the food makes you feel.
  • Stop eating when you're full.
  • Ask yourself why you're eating. Are you actually hungry?

So, we’ll leave you with this… Mindful eating is a powerful tool to regain control of your eating.

If you have failed with conventional "diets" in the past, then this is definitely something you should try.

 

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