hunger binge

A guide to mindful eating

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Due to busy schedules, many people find themselves eating in a hurry, or basically lacking time to have meals in a healthy manner.

Experts say that this can turn into mindless eating, which means eating food regardless of whether one is hungry or not. 

 

Omer Mayobera, a peacebuilding and development practitioner with knowledge in psychology, say in some cases, mindless eating can be a sign of an emotional response rather than a physical response to one’s hunger.

 

Mindful eating is defined as maintaining an in-the-moment awareness of the food and beverages you put into your body. It also involves observing how food makes you feel and the signals your body sends about taste and satisfaction.

 

Mindfulness, Mayobera says, is a form of meditation that helps you recognise and cope with your emotions and physical sensations.

Private Kamanzi, a nutritionist, says mindful eating is about using mindfulness to reach a state of full attention to your experiences, cravings, and physical cues when eating.

He says that it’s also ideal to keep in mind that mindful eating isn’t just about being perfect, or rather always eating the right things, it’s more than that.

Some of the things one can try to adapt when it comes to mindful eating, Kamanzi says, are to always practice eating slowly, chewing your meals thoroughly as well as eating in silence.

In addition to that, eliminate distractions by putting away all gadgets, focusing on how the food makes you feel, and stopping when you feel full.

Why should you be mindful when it comes to eating?

According to Kamanzi, with many distractions around us, the goal is to shift focus to exploring and enjoying the eating experience.

“Enjoying and focusing on your food prevents overeating. This also means that one has more time to make more thoughtful food choices, and the more attention one pays to their food, the more they give themselves the opportunity to select nutritious and, most importantly, healthy foods,” he says.

Erick Musengimana, a nutritionist, says being mindful of the food you eat has proven to help promote better digestion, keep one full with less food, and influence wiser choices about what one eats in the future.

The most important aspect when it comes to mindful eating, he says, is abetting in avoiding unhealthy habits around food.

Musengimana notes that it is also believed that mindful eating comes with benefits such as letting one know when they are turning to food for reasons other than hunger.

Again, this habit also can give one greater pleasure from the foods they eat, which according to him is crucial.

Musengimana says that mindful eating can help one avoid overeating, make it easier to change dietary habits for the better, and boost well-being that comes with a healthier diet.

Mayobera says that mindful eating can also help when it comes to eating disorders, like binge eating. Binge eating, he says, is all about eating a large amount of food in a short amount of time, mindlessly and without control.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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