Due to the pace of life we lead, the most common thing is to eat gorging, quickly and as if it were a mere procedure without being aware of what we are doing. This is mainly due to stress. We even often eat in front of electronic devices (television, cell phone, tablets, etc.), and/or use food as an escape route to calm negative emotions and thoughts that lead us to generate even more anxiety instead of calming down.
All of this makes us eat excessively, feel full later and causes poor digestion. This is why the concept of Mindful Eating arises.
1. WHAT IS MINDFULNESS
“ Mindful Eating ” or “Conscious Eating” is a practice that is increasingly present in our current society, and which consists of paying all our attention to the act of eating in order to reduce "emotional eating", that is, hunger that is generated not so much by a physiological need, but by pure anxiety.
It is a process that involves "raising our consciousness by observing our eating patterns with curiosity and acceptance, being aware of how we make decisions about what foods to eat, how and when to do it," says Javier García Campayo, coordinator of the Master of Mindfulness at the University. from Zaragoza and member of the Psychiatry Service of the Miguel Servet Hospital in Zaragoza.
2. TYPES OF HUNGER
It is very important to know how to distinguish when you eat with physiological hunger or when you eat with emotional hunger . Differentiating these two concepts is essential to change our way of relating to food.
The first is when you feel a physical need in your stomach and you stop eating when you are full compared to the second when you continue eating even when you are already full , sometimes even feeling guilty and ashamed of what you have eaten.
This feeling of guilt makes us enter a negative loop, leading us to lose weight or restrictive diets to compensate for the binge we have indulged in, leading us to an unhealthy relationship with food.
Normally, when this happens to us, we choose foods rich in carbohydrates or processed products with high levels of sugar since it has been shown that eating sugar reduces the stress hormone called cortisol, and this gives us pleasure to mitigate that stress for a few seconds. stress, but unfortunately it does not disappear, quite the opposite since it comes back again and again.
In short, many times we use food as a drug to escape from problems, cover up emotions or reward ourselves and all of this comes down to satisfying that inner emptiness that we have.
All of this is normal and happens to all of us, since throughout our lives we go through moments of loneliness, grief, separations, work stress, a feeling of inner emptiness and many other causes. But when this stress or anxiety about eating occurs from time to time and has a justified cause, there is no reason to worry. The problem comes when we eat compulsively and without being consciously on a continuous basis, since we move into a chronic state that can lead to more serious eating disorders.
3. TEN KEYS TO CONTROL ANXIETY
This concept goes further, that is, it not only implies being aware of what we eat and how we eat it, but also encompasses the entire process before and after eating.
That is why I want to share with you 10 guidelines that will help you follow a healthy and conscious diet:
- When you make the purchase, read the labels carefully to avoid consuming ingredients that do not nourish.
- Prioritize the purchase of fresh and seasonal products , reducing packaged and processed products.
- Cook enjoying and paying all your attention to the process and be aware of the ingredients to use.
- Eat in a pleasant environment , avoiding all types of electronic devices.
- Take a deep breath before starting to eat.
- Give thanks for how lucky you are to be able to eat and, above all, to nourish yourself with all the nutrients that your plate has to give the best to your body.
- Chew food well.
- Pay attention to flavors, smells and texture and how foods combine with each other.
- Stop eating when you are full so as not to reach a state of heaviness and abdominal bloating.
Don't judge yourself about how you have eaten. You have to change the feeling of guilt through the observation of asking yourself why you have eaten without being conscious and giving a name to the emotions-feelings that have led you to eat without being conscious.
Applying mindfulness to your lifestyle is a meditation technique that will help you live in the present and combat anxiety.