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Be mindful of eating and rediscover its joys!

Do you know what mindful eating means? We have noticed a lot of confusion around this word. It is a phrase that is quite often thrown around and is usually mixed up with intuitive eating which eventually leads to a lot of misconceptions about its right meaning. 
No worries, we are going to take you through the journey of mindful eating and give you some hints on how you can incorporate it into your life with ease. 

In simple terms, mindful eating is all about eating with the intention of PAYING ATTENTION. 
Now, this is not something that one can achieve overnight. It is only with practice that this habit can be cultivated, making you aware of being physically hungry and follow cues to guide your decision to begin and end your eating. 

Mindful Eating vs Intuitive Eating 
These two words have been used alot by non-diet/health practitioners and more often used interchangeably, while they do have quite a bit in common, they are two different things. 

We are all born as intuitive eaters. Intuitive eating is a framework, with the main goal of aiding you to make peace with food and kick the diet mentality. It goes beyond eating, with principles addressing movement, body image, and nutrition. Overall it is not about focusing on the scale but promoting a better body image and a healthier relationship with food. 

Mindful eating, on the other hand, is a skill that can be used within intuitive eating or even outside intuitive eating. Now let’s break that down. 
Within intuitive, mindful eating will help you identify hunger and fullness cues, or notice what food you like, so you are able to discover the satisfaction factor.
While mindful eating is a pretty essential skill within intuitive eating, it doesn’t mean each and every meal should be eaten mindfully. 
Since variety is spice you can mix it up making sure you balance it however you feel fit for YOU. 

Benefits of Mindful Eating 
An important benefit of mindful eating is that it will help get back in touch with hunger and fullness cues, better understand your physical needs, and eat an amount of food that feels good for you. 
It can help you with identifying maladaptive thoughts and beliefs about food which can create stress around food and eating and this might influence eating behaviors. Mindful eating helps you to Identify these thoughts gives you a chance to investigate them, see if they’re really true, and work around them. 
Mindful eating can make eating more pleasurable, it helps you slow down and savor your food, and by helping you get back in touch with what foods and flavours you enjoy the most and also satisfies you.

Some tips you can follow to start your journey 
Choose a time (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) to practice mindful eating. The mealtime chosen should be when you slow down and enjoy a slow-paced meal. You know what’s cool about mindful eating is that by practicing it as a routine with intention, the skills will naturally infuse into other meals and snacks without even thinking about it. 

Remind yourself that it’s OK for mindful eating to look different from meal-to-meal. It just means that you are trying different ways to make sure you are staying on track. Sometimes it may be a meal slowly savored, tasting each bite. Other times it looks like taking a deep breath before eating. Still, other times it may be with just “mindful pauses” throughout your meal to tune in.

Mindful eating goes beyond paying attention to your food - It comprises factors that also includes observing any thoughts that arise, negative or even judgmental thoughts. Do take notice of this and let go of such thoughts about what or how much you should be eating? These “shoulds” often influence eating behaviors, taking you further away from your wisdom of mindful eating. 

Most importantly remember there is no right or wrong to practice mindful eating, it’s more of a tool that you can develop into a skill with practice. 
Remember, that this is not a rule that you need to live by every day, so do give yourself grace. In our modern world today, with diet culture, for most people building on mindful eating habits is something they have not learned, Be kind to yourself and always remember to appreciate yourself for all the hard work. Also have a look at Health Insurance policy provided by Chola MS.

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