Mind your food- Mindful eating

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mindfulAccording to Ayurveda, food eaten when you are not in a pleasant state of mind ends up as toxins in your body. As per Hindu mythology, every person is born with a fixed food limit. Once a person reaches this threshold, Yama, the Lord of death, is supposed to do his duty and take their life. This is a very rational thought, wrapped in mythology.

Mindless eating refers to the process of eating food without applying your thought and all the senses. This happens when we eat in the presence of distractions such as TV, Mobile, tablets, laptop , books or when you try to multitask. This leads to lifestyle diseases, as we eat more than what is necessary for our body. We can avoid this by practicing mindful eating.

Mindful eating is when you sit down and eat your food without any distractions, relish every bite of it and stop when you feel satiated (not stuffed). The benefits that you get when you practice mindful eating include:

  • Fat Loss:  As you know when to stop eating, concepts like portion control, calorie counting etc. become redundant

  • Digestion: Digestion starts from our brain and senses and not from our tongue. When you see the food, or get it’s aroma, your senses sends a signal your brain which in turns instructs your digestive system to be ready for the food. It then starts producing the necessary enzymes. This ensures you won’t have heartburn, indigestion or bloating as you are in touch with your appetite.

  • Happy body & Healthy gut:  When your digestive system and intestinal flora/gut microbiome is in place, all the other systems will work in harmony.

Most of us feed our kids while they are watching television, Ipads, tablets etc . We find this easier because we do not have to put in much effort running around them to make them eat. But does their body know what and how much they are eating? Such kids are more likely to have digestive and metabolic problems by their early teens. I will be writing more on child nutrition in future posts.

How to practice Mindful eating ?

  1. Sit down peacefully to eat, if possible in cross-legged posture on floor/chair (improves digestion)
  2. Spend a few seconds before you start eating either praying or just thank those who helped the food reach your plate. As mentioned earlier, looking at and smelling the food will increases the enzyme production.

  3. Take half the amount of what you eat normally.
  4. Chew every bite 32 times. Eat slowly, till you enjoy your food.
  5. At one point, your tongue will tell you, it’s not tasting as good as the previous bite and your stomach will feel full. That’s the ‘red’ signal from your tongue and stomach.

How mindful are you while eating? 

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