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March is National Nutrition Month | Mindful Eating

  • Category: News
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Michelle Aliprantis, MBA Regional Director of Business Development, Marketing and Communications
March is National Nutrition Month | Mindful Eating

Mindful Eating - Suburban Community Hospital

Along with our aging process comes various health-related issues. Most of them can be resolved, especially if you are aware of them and have already taken preventive measures.

Our digestive system slows as we age, especially our metabolism, which makes things worse for our gut health. Mindful eating helps us savor every morsel and helps our body in the process. It has been increasingly used for weight loss as well as good digestion.

When we are in a hurry and eat all we can quickly, our body fails to send the signal to our brain that we should stop eating. When it finally does send the signal that we have had enough to eat, it takes the brain 20 minutes to process the message and let us know. So, slowing down is the only way you can know when you are genuinely full. The best way to slow down is to remember the age-old manners of sitting down to eat, chewing every mouthful 25 times, and putting down your spoon and fork after taking every bite.

Often, we only eat when we feel like eating, which means we listen to our minds instead of our bodies when we are hungry. For example, a growling stomach, feeling lightheaded, or low energy level is a sign that it’s time to eat. You should not be eating just because you are stressed, feeling frustrated or bored. It’s important to figure out the emotional triggers that make you eat. Once you do that, look for other ways to combat your emotional wants. Maybe Reach for something healthy like vegetables or fruit, or spend some time exercising, taking a walk, anything to get out of the kitchen.

Now that you know that the “when to eat” is important for mindful eating, you must know that the where and the how are equally important. Sometimes, we create a habit of eating when we really don’t need to. For example, do you really need to buy junk food and drinks when you go for a short road trip? Also, eating on the run is not a good habit to practice. It is important that you eat every meal sitting down, as that aids in digestion.

Throughout our lives, we tend to identify a few food items as our own personal comfort food. But when we do that, we stop exploring other kinds of food that might be healthier and more nutritious. Instead of that piece of candy, try a celery or carrot stick. It’s good to broaden your food choices and discover other foods to be satisfying!

We don’t often stop and think about where our food comes from. When we think of the entire journey our food has undertaken to reach our tables, it seems amazing. You need to be grateful and be interconnected with the whole process, as that will further help you be mindful. Don’t forget the natural elements that might have helped in the growth of the food you are consuming. The soil, water, the hands that collected the food, the hands that cooked it, the recipe that has been handed down for generations or shared through friends – it all matters.

Finally, don’t get distracted while eating. There is a reason a tub of popcorn is already empty even before the movie is over. When we are distracted, we eat more and pay even less attention to the food that is on our plate. So, attend to your plate and do not multitask while eating. Even watching TV is a distraction. So, eat your meal at the table, and be thankful for its goodness.

Cited: 

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/why-eating-slowly-may-help-you-feel-full-faster-20101019605

https://www.everydayhealth.com/digestive-health/dealing-with-a-sensitive-gut.aspx

https://www.weightwatchers.com/us/blog/health/distracted-eating-facts

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/walking-after-eating