Mindful eating: Tips for incorporating the practice into your daily life routine
Practising mindful eating can be an opportunity to take a pause, reflect, and find a moment of calm and joy amidst the rush of daily life. Here are some easy tips that will help you gradually transition to mindful eating.
What is mindful eating? It can mean many things, but they are all tied together with an overarching purpose of eating with intention and awareness. Being aware of what you are eating, for what, what impact will it have on the planet, and what it tastes and feels like in that given moment all add up to eating mindfully. Mindful eating is an interplay of our senses – sight, smell, touch, taste, and sound, along with the mind. It encourages you to slow down, live in the moment and pay attention to your actions. Practising mindful eating can be an opportunity to take a pause, reflect, and find a moment of calm and joy amidst the rush of daily life. And all this over a plate of nourishing and tasty food! (Also read: Check out these easy diet tips to help optimise nutrition and good health )
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Prakriti Poddar, mental health expert and global head, mental health & wellbeing, RoundGlass, shared some easy tips that will help you gradually transition to mindful eating.
1. Set an Intention: Identify why you want to eat at any given moment. Find out your intention. Is it hunger or just a craving for stimulation? Or do you want to be respectful towards the feelings of the person who has cooked the food for you? Being a mindful eater involves identifying why you want to eat and this can help you make wiser food choices.
2. Be Aware: Notice what are you eating, how much, and how is it making you feel. Being aware of what you are eating and appreciating it is vital for mindful eating. RoundGlass mindfulness teacher Vishvapani Blomfield says, “We naturally live our lives quite a lot, on autopilot, and develop habits of not noticing. In that state of not noticing, there is a lost opportunity for enjoyment. When we are not appreciating and enjoying, we then tend to think more of quantity rather than the quality of food.”
3. Perk up your senses: Eat with your eyes, ears, nose and mouth! Engage all your senses to draw your attention to the act of eating and the food you are about to consume. Appreciate the visual feast of hues on your plate, take in the aromas, and enjoy each crunch, munch, crackle and slurp as you enjoy a nourishing meal.
4. Reflect on your food’s journey: Noticing the food’s journey to your table can help you appreciate it better. Take a moment to think about where it came from, the history of farmers who grew it and all the others who worked together to put this warm meal on your table. Feel your gratitude for them.
Becoming a mindful eater can help you eat more responsibly, choosing foods that are truly nourishing and which enable the well-being of the planet. Remember, mindful eating is a practice, it takes time and patience to integrate it into your daily routine. It's not about perfection, but it's about being present and non-judgmental.