Mindful eating: Cultivating awareness for healthier habits

Mindful eating: Cultivating awareness for healthier habits

Mindfulness is a technique that can be integrated into daily routine. This technique helps better be more present and focused on the job at hand, which inherently, enhances the quality of the task. Mindfulness has been adopted by various industries as well. One such industry is the health and nutrition industry. Mindful eating has been introduced to enhance nutrition intake and promote overall health.

Mindful eating is the practice of being aware of the food being consumed and identifying its impact on wellbeing. It can aid in identifying certain patterns and enhancing one’s relationship with food. This practice allows one to calculate the nutritional value of foods and compares physical dietary requirements with the amount consumed.

It is important to spread awareness of mindful eating as it can positively impact employees in the workplace. Spreading awareness will prompt employees to be mindful of their snacking and meal habits. 

Understanding mindful eating

Mindful eating helps one to identify and recognize experiences with food. One can recognize cravings, cues, and mental and physical experiences when eating certain foods. To achieve this, one must remove all distractions and focus on mindful eating. Here are a few tips when practicing the same:

  • Chewing slowly without distractions
  • Listening to hunger cues
  • Stop eating once full
  • Appreciating the food
  • Distinguishing between mental cues and physical cues of hunger
  • Working on building a healthy relationship with food
  • Focus on feelings and experiences when consuming foods

The benefits of mindful eating

There are several benefits of mindful eating. Eating has become a mindless act for many and is even used as a source to get rid of boredom. Unfortunately, many are barely focused on the nutritional value it is meant to provide. This can be extremely harmful as many heavily over and undershoot their amount estimates. Employees in the workplace greatly benefit from mindful eating as well. Let us take a look at some of the benefits:

Healthy relationship with food: Many employees suffer from unhealthy food habits and associations. They may indulge in stress eating or completely refrain from eating till necessary. This can be extremely harmful for mental and physical wellbeing. Mindful eating promotes a positive relationship with food. It ensures the individual is present, can feel the nutritional effects kick in, and appreciates the food for its taste, smell, and visuals.

Overall health maintenance: Mindful eating can enhance improving or maintaining health. Calculating the nutritional intake can be especially useful. Many people tend to consume less nurturing food and more junk food. This practice can help one be aware of nutritional intake and make way to consume the appropriate amount of nutrition required according to employee’s needs.

Improved self-esteem and motivation: As the body receives the nutrition it requires, the emotional regulation of the individual stabilizes. Mindful eating can improve employee self-esteem and motivation enhancing task performance. With a boost in self-esteem, employees will have the mental wellness required to engage and contribute to team efforts.

Mental health apps like Manahverse can help your employees track their mental wellbeing trajectories. It has multiple resources right at their fingertips to access whenever required. The app has features such as journaling, helplines, nudges, and access to experts for sessions.

Developing mindful eating habits

Developing mindful eating habits requires little effort. Integrating small habits throughout the day can significantly improve one’s mindful eating journey. However, one must be intentional about the habits and plan their meals. Here are some practical tips for developing mindful eating habits:

Plan meals: Employees should plan meals ahead of time to lessen the load of mindful eating habits on workdays. Take an hour or two out on weekends to plan and grocery shop for the rest of the week. Restocking the fridge and meal prepping can facilitate cooking at home as all that’s needed to be done is throwing ingredients into the pan. One can calculate nutritional value when meal planning to ensure adequate amounts of nutrition are consumed throughout their busy workweek.

Eat in silence: Focusing on each meal can make one conscious of the food they will consume. Take in the visuals and aroma of the food to appreciate it to the fullest. Eating slowly and in silence, without distractions will help focus on the taste of each bite as well. This is important to develop a healthy relationship with food. Furthermore, when focusing on each bite, one may realize that they feel full more early or late. Often, this is the real capacity of food one can consume. They can stop eating once they feel this way.

Healthy snacking options: It won’t hurt to have the occasional chocolate or chips. However, if one’s snacking staples are these kinds of food, it can be damaging in the long run. Try replacing these snacks with healthier alternatives. Furthermore, having these healthier options available around the house, instead of junk food can do half of the work! Simply because of the unavailability of unhealthy snacks, one will turn to healthier options around the house to munch. Replacing unhealthy snacks in the workplace will ensure employees have healthy alternatives at their hands.

Don’t clean the plate: Unless you want to. As children, we are taught to finish up our plate. Unfortunately, this practice can lead to forceful eating habits and a negative association with food. Bodies usually notify when they feel physically full. Hence, listening to one’s body when it says not to clean the plate is important. It also develops the habit of listening to bodily needs which is crucial for physical and mental wellbeing.

Embracing mindful eating for better health

Mindful eating can be easy if the above steps are followed. Creating a healthy bond with food can significantly increase overall wellbeing while decreasing stress and anxiety. Set aside time to eat meals to ensure hectic work schedules do not take away time from meals. This can cause one to eat quickly without appreciating foods and consciously experiencing the bodily and environmental cues. Furthermore, it is encouraged to have unhealthy snacks once in a while will help keep cravings in check and motivation high.