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  • AnJenette Afridi. MA

Mindful Eating

In today's world we are bombarded with conflicting food advice on how to eat healthy. Not only do we have to watch what we eat, but most diets also require some degree of counting, measuring, or calculating. Eating healthy becomes a tedious process that depletes the joy of eating. Wouldn't it be nice to just enjoy a meal without all the work? Actually, you can, and it may turn out to be a smarter way to eat. By using your mind and consciousness to eat, you can make healthier choices full of nutrition and pleasure. Did I say... pleasure? Yes, I did!

Here's how:

Be Mindful of Consuming Whole Foods

Meditation can help you be a more mindful eater and help you maintain your health as you become more mindful and intentional about what you eat, why you eat, and when you eat, you can create physical and emotional balance. Research has shown that most individuals generally aren’t paying attention to whether they’re actually hungry or full. Mindful based exercises can help heighten your awareness of such cues and keep your mind focused on the experience of eating while also making healthy food choices.

Unlike poor quality processed foods like sugars, dangerous trans fats, refined flours, wholesome foods contain no additives, preservatives, or other harmful ingredients. You can eliminate the side effects from processed foods like weight gain, sleep disturbances, mood swings, blood sugar imbalances, etc. When you focus on eating wholesome organic foods like fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, unprocessed meats, grass fed beef, free range chicken, wild fish, etc. you are putting clean, healthy, and satisfying nourishment in your body. Your body and brain will flourish with wholesome nutrient-dense foods that contain vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats.

Your optimal diet is a personal lifestyle choice. What is optimal eating for you is highly individualized and based on food allergies/sensitivities, stage of life, cultural upbringing, ethical choices, likes/dislikes, support system, and your access to healthy food. You can create a foundation of how you choose your food and experiment on what is optimal for you.

When you are mindful, you pay attention to your body telling you what foods make you feel good, feel bad, gives you energy, or takes away energy, etc. You can become a mindful consumer about the foods you buy and experiment and have fun preparing the abundant wholesome colorful foods that give you energy and yes, joy. It is a personal journey and a commitment to health.

Be Mindful of When You Eat

Research has shown that sticking to a regular eating schedule has many positive effects, from improved blood pressure to better digestion. People who eat at the same times every day also tend to make healthier food choices, making weight maintenance more successful. It doesn't matter how many meals you choose to eat each day. Whether you prefer three meals or six mini-meals, routine eating can improve your overall health.

Listen to Your Body and Brain Knowing when to start and stop eating is essential for keeping your weight in check. The good news is your body and mind will tell you; all you need to do is listen. Many health experts advise eating when you're hungry to avoid binging, but only eating until you're 80 percent full. How do you know when you're there? Try consuming just half the food on your plate, then assess whether you feel satiated. Often your brain needs time to alert your body that you've had enough. Reconsider Your Cravings Are you really in the mood for that sweet treat or heavily salted snack? While it may be something that brought you pleasure in the past, healthier foods can do the same thing... without the negative consequences. For example, substitute a square of natural organic dark chocolate for a less nutritious highly processed candy bar with tons of high fructose corn syrup and a piece of delicious fresh low glycemic fruits like strawberries or blueberries. Putting healthy treats in your body will please your conscience and your taste buds and help maintain your weight.

Try Mindful Wholesome Eating

If you're tired of typical diet plans that involve a lot of work, you're not alone. Try Mindful Wholesome Eating instead, and see why using your mind to achieve a healthy life may be a simpler, healthier, and a more enjoyable option.


This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical issue or disease. The author does not in any way guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of this article and will not be held responsible for the content of this article. The information in this article is not intended to replace a personal relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Always consult your personal health care provider for specific medical advice.

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