Mindful Eating: It’s Not About What You Eat, It’s About How You Eat

In This Article You Will Read

  • New Research on Slow Food
  • Three Ways to Eat in Ayurveda
  • Mindful and Therapeutic Eating

New Research on Slow Food

The way you eat, rather than what you consume, affects your digestion, according to Ayurveda.

Children who eat quickly have a higher risk of childhood obesity than children who eat slowly, according to a recent study published in the journal Pediatric Obesity.

Researchers discovered that children who were less responsive to feeling full and disinterested in the taste and smell of food, as well as controlling their eating speed, were more likely to gain weight and develop cravings. Extroverted children ate faster and were more likely to become obese.

Unfortunately, eating quickly is not limited to children. Our eating habits are generally formed during our childhood, and adults who eat fast and on the go are also at danger. Another study (this one from 2006) found that eating rapidly was linked to an increased risk of obesity in 3,737 adult men and 1,005 adult women.

On the other hand, eating slowly is associated to a healthy weight. In a research published in the journal Nutrients in 2019, 21 healthy 23-year-olds were given the option of eating a 600-calorie lunch at a normal or slow rate.

When compared to eating quickly, slow eating is directly linked to consuming fewer calories. In this study, the people who ate slowly consumed 25% fewer calories from snacks. They felt fuller three hours after eating, and the hunger hormone ghrelin was much lower than in the other group.

Three Ways to Eat in Ayurveda

There are three mental and emotional states of mind according to Ayurveda: sattva (calm), rajas (excited), and tamas (distracted) (withdrawn). All aspects of behaviour, lifestyle, and psychology are affected by these three mental states. They also apply to our eating habits and how food can help us achieve a more serene state of mind. The old idea of eating slowly as a path to contentment, health, and wellness is once again supported by research.

Eating Sattvically

Mealtime is a sattvic period of the day, meaning that it allows you to rest your nervous system after a busy day at work or play, which is necessary for efficient digestion.

The parasympathetic, or rest-and-digest, nerve system is activated by relaxed, steady eating, whereas eating on the run or quickly stimulates the sympathetic, or fight-or-flight, nervous system, which cuts off your capacity to digest efficiently.

Our lifestyles should be tranquil and in tune with nature, according to the Ayurvedic notion of sattva.

Sattvic eating is relaxed, tranquil, and joyful

Sattvic eating isn’t about filling your stomach or your tank and getting back on the road. Rather, it is to sit back, relax, and take pleasure in the act of eating. True sattvic eating implies that we become cognizant of the details of the food—its flavours, scents, and textures, as well as how it feels in the body as it is digested.

The energetic or subtle feeling that food provides after digestion, known as prabhava, can balance or unbalance your body type. Foods that are properly prepared and consumed slowly and carefully can bring joy. Is it possible for you to go within because of the way you eat? Does the food you eat encourage you to eat slowly and savour every bite?

Eating Rajasically

Rajas is a mindset that associates happiness with sensory stimulation.

To feel content with food or life, Rajas rely on the release of the reward hormone dopamine. Rajasic eating necessitates intense stimulation rather than the enjoyment of nuanced flavours. For example, rajasic desires are frequently fulfilled by overindulging in sweet, salty, or spicy meals. Rajasic eating is associated with weight gain since it is often rapid and on the go.

Eating Tamasically

Tamas is a withdrawal mindset. The neural system in a tamasic state retreats from stress to protect and heal due to overstimulation from reward chemicals, trauma, narcotics, or stimulants.

Tamas is characterised by a withdrawal from conflict or excitement. Getting profound slumber to recuperate can be tamasic in a healthy way, but drugs, alcohol, reclusiveness, and overeating can be tamasic in an unhealthy one. Tamasic eaters eat frequently and unconsciously. They turn to food to soothe and fulfil their minds and neurological systems.

Mindful and Therapeutic Eating

According to research, eating slowly is an important step in controlling weight, hunger, and cravings.

Here are three suggestions for incorporating mindfulness into your meals:

When possible, eat complete, organic foods. Eating slowly is also a moment to connect with nature’s intelligence, according to Ayurveda. You benefit from the symbiotic link between the food and its helpful bacteria when you eat complete, organic foods. Sattvic diet, according to Ayurveda, is the first step toward developing a healthy body and microbiome.

Make mealtime a ritual. Mealtime is also an excellent opportunity to add ritual into your daily routine. Make sure you’re calm the next time you sit down to eat. Saying grace, for example, can help set the stage for parasympathetic dominance and improved digestion. Consider chewing each bite until it no longer has any flavour.

After eating, get moving. Take a 10-minute break after eating and then go for a stroll. A post-meal stroll has been demonstrated to improve heart health in several ways. The worst thing we can do is eat a large meal and then drive or stay in front of a screen for hours.

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