By Preeti Seth
Health at Every Size (“HAES”) is a weight-neutral approach to health care that promotes the pursuit of healthful behaviors (like eating vegetables, moving your body, getting enough protein, etc.). The inherent health benefits of those behaviors, rather than for the explicit purpose of weight manipulation.
For instance, HAES-inclined wellness professionals may suggest that clients move their bodies. For the sake of its cardiac or mental health benefits—rather than for the purpose of thinness.
Health At Every Size additionally promotes the pursuit of health outcomes (like balanced blood sugar, blood pressure, heart health, etc.). Through the pursuit of healthful behaviors, rather than through the pursuit of weight loss.
For instance, HAES advocates may suggest that patients manage diabetes or heart disease through movement or nutritional therapy. Rather than asking patients to lose weight as a proxy for healthy behaviors.
Mindful eating is maintaining an in-the-moment awareness of the food and drink you put into your body. It involves observing how the food makes you feel and the signals your body sends about taste, satisfaction, and fullness. Mindful eating requires you to simply acknowledge and accept rather than judge the feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations you observe. It can extend to the process of buying, preparing, and serving your food as well as consuming it.
For many of us, our busy daily lives often make mealtimes rushed affairs. We find ourselves eating in the car commuting to work. At the desk in front of a computer screen, or parked on the couch watching TV. We eat mindlessly, shoveling food down regardless of whether we’re still hungry or not. In fact, we often eat for reasons other than hunger. To satisfy emotional needs, to relieve stress, or cope with unpleasant emotions such as sadness, anxiety, loneliness, or boredom. Mindful eating is the opposite of this kind of unhealthy “mindless” eating.
More into it,
Mindful eating isn’t about being perfect, always eating the right things, or never allowing yourself to eat on-the-go again. And it’s not about establishing strict rules for how many calories you can eat. Or which foods you have to include or avoid in your diet. Rather, it’s about focusing all your senses and being present as you shop for, cook, serve, and eat your food.
While mindfulness isn’t for everyone, many people find that by eating this way, even for just a few meals a week, you can become more attuned to your body. This can help you to avoid overeating, make it easier to change your dietary habits for the better, and enjoy the improved well-being that comes with a healthier diet.
Benefits of mindful eating
By paying close attention to how you feel as you eat—the texture and tastes of each mouthful, your body’s hunger and fullness signals, how different foods affect your energy and mood—you can learn to savor both your food and the experience of eating. Being mindful of the food you eat can promote better digestion, keep you full with less food, and influence wiser choices about what you eat in the future. It can also help you free yourself from unhealthy habits around food and eating.
Eating mindfully can help you to:
·Slow down and take a break from the hustle and bustle of your day, easing stress and anxiety.
·Examine and change your relationship with food—helping you to notice when you turn to food for reasons other than hunger, for example.
·Derive greater pleasure from the food you eat, as you learn to slow down and more fully appreciate your meals and snacks.
·Make healthier choices about what you eat by focusing on how each type of food makes you feel after eating it.
·Improve your digestion by eating slower.
·Feel fuller sooner and by eating less food.
·Make a greater connection to where your food comes from, how it’s produced, and the journey it’s taken to your plate.
·Eat in a healthier, more balanced way.
Fitting mindful eating into your life
For most of us, it’s unrealistic to think we can be mindful for every bite or even for every meal we eat. The pressures of work and family sometimes mean you’re forced to eat. On the go or have only a limited window to eat something or risk going hungry for the rest of the day. But even when you can’t adhere to a strict mindful eating practice, you can still avoid eating mindlessly and ignoring your body’s signals.
Perhaps you can take a few deep breaths before eating a meal or snack to quietly contemplate what you’re about to put into your body. Are you eating in response to hunger signals or are you eating in response to an emotional signal? Maybe you’re bored or anxious or lonely?
Similarly, are you eating food that is nutritionally healthy or are you eating food that is emotionally comforting? Even if you have to eat at your desk, for example, can you take a few moments to focus all your attention on your food, rather than multitasking or being distracted by your computer or phone?
Think of mindful eating like exercise: every little bit counts. The more you can do to slow down, focus solely on the process of eating. And listen to your body, the greater satisfaction you’ll experience from your food and the greater control you’ll have over your diet and nutrition habits.
About the Author
Preeti Seth, is the Nutritionist and Cosmetologist and the founder of PACHOULI WELLNESS CLINIC
Website – https://www.pachouli.in/