What is mindful eating?
Mindful eating is also known as intuitive eating. This diet incorporates mindfulness through meditation. Mindfulness refers to an aware state of mind. Mindful eating has been considered helpful for eating disorders, depression, anxiety, etc.
How does mindful eating work?
Mindful eating suggests that one eats food through communicating with their body what it requires. It requires attention and being able to identify feelings and physical cues the body and mind send when eating food.
Here's what mindful eating encompasses:
- Eating at a slow pace
- Avoiding distractions while eating
- Eating only till you are full
- Understanding the colours, sounds, textures, smells, etc. of the food while eating
- Eating to maintain good mental and physical health
- Understanding how your food influences your moods and body
- Being thankful for your food
- Trying to cope with anxiety and other issues surrounding food
What are the pros?
1. Promotes better mental health
As we discussed, one of the main goals of mindful eating is to focus on what we eat and improving one's relationship with food. Mindful eating has been proven to help with eating disorders or other mood disorders that often hinder one's appetite.
2. Improves overall health
As we consume according to what our mind and body require, the absorption of nutrients through these foods is better. Guilt-free eating promotes production of happy hormones and may also improve cardiovascular health.
3. Better body-mind communication
Another significant factor of mindful eating is to identify the physical cues and feelings while eating food. It improves communication between what your body and mind want which helps you better fuel your body.
What are the cons?
Unlike other diets, mindful eating requires more than just will power. Mindful eating encompasses mindfulness. Mindfulness is achieved through meditation. Achieving mindfulness requires time and patience.
2. May not be ideal for weight loss
Mindful eating focuses on feeding the body want it needs and wants. When we are trying to lose weight, we might have to reduce our intake of food or eat foods that may not be appetising. Although, mindful eating helps build better relationship with healthy food,it can be hard to navigate a healthy diet while practicing mindful eating.
Mindful eating promotes focusing on foods you want to eat. Hence, you are free to eat whatever may seem appetising to you. This may be a pro for people who can understand what foods are fuel for their body and which foods are not fit for them. As this diet is unrestrictive, a beginner may have trouble navigating what to eat and what not to eat.
Is it good for you?
Every diet and workout routine works differently for everyone. While one routine works for someone, it may not work for the other. It is important to map out your goals before you pick a diet or workout regime. As discussed throughout the article, the main focus of mindful eating is to improve one's relationship with food. Hence, it is important to understand its benefits and limitations.
Mindful eating is encouraged for people that have had chronic eating-related disorders. Mindful eating may also be ideal for people that mediate as mindfulness is an integral part of practicing this diet correctly.
Besides this, you must understand that every diet and workout regime take time to work for you. You must understand and follow the course before you can decide for yourself if it is good for you.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.