The term Mindfulness is gaining popularity these days because of its benefits for mental health. The concept of mindfulness has been derived from Buddhism which explains the importance of being in the present. Practicing mindfulness, in other words, means that your consciousness is aware of everything that is happening around you. At that moment you are not thinking about any past worries or future plans, but living the present moment and feeling everything in the present.
Mindfulness has numerous benefits along with diet and eating habits. In this article, we will know how veganism and mindfulness are interconnected.
What is mindfulness eating?
Mindfulness eating refers to the increase in awareness while having your meal. It also helps eradicate the symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. A person is suggested to adopt mindful eating habits when they are trying to improve their diet or lose weight. Healthy eating also improves your mental health.
Benefits of mindful eating
1. Being aware of the appetite
When you eat without getting distracted, you are more aware of how much you want to eat. The point of fullness is best known when you are focusing fully on the meal without making yourself busy with gadgets. You cannot instantly know when your stomach is full, so the eating process should be slow. It helps in better digestion and also the body gets time to give you the signal when your hunger is satiated.
2. Loss in weight
Mindfulness eating helps you lose weight as you are aware of what you are eating. Also, you can decide what you like and what you don’t and change your choice of food at times. When the eating process is slowed and mindful, you can reduce your weight easily. The brain gets the signal when to stop and it also refrains you from emotional eating. You can keep the calorie count when you are completely involved in the meal and now just stuffing the food with whatever comes on the plate.
3. Get rid of binge eating
Binge eating is when you can’t stop eating because you are too stressed or involved in something else while eating. Some people have the habit of watching TV while eating, which makes them eat a lot more than required. It is a practice that becomes the reason for many lifestyle diseases. Therefore, mindfulness would help you take care of your health by focusing on what you are eating at the moment.
4. Increase in contentment
The distractions would make you eat more than being satisfied with what you have eaten already. Even after having a whole meal, you would crave some other food item because you were not aware when your body was eating food.
However, mindfulness helps you get satisfied with whatever you eat even if the quantity is less but you would remember the taste of your meal. It is the best way to maintain a healthy diet for your body.
5. Better choice of food
When you are eating something mindfully, you get aware of what makes you happy and what doesn’t. Also, you can differentiate better between healthy and unhealthy food items. This way, you learn to choose a nutritious and balanced diet for yourself. People who practice mindfulness are more aware of what would make them feel energized and what nutrients are required in their bodies. They are less prone to catching a lifestyle disease.
How veganism depicts mindfulness
Vegan diets are based on philosophies that oppose the exploitation and cruelty of the living forms on earth. People who adopt the vegan diet, restrict themselves from eating any food item which is animal-based. Amazingly, they not only adopt the vegan diet but also adapt themselves to the vegan lifestyle. They prohibit the use of anything which is based on animal cruelty.
People supporting veganism make sure that their household products, clothing, and energy used are ethical. Veganism is much more than diet and eating habits. People go for a vegan diet for various reasons, but the basic agenda of veganism is based on the thought of showing compassion towards animals and other living beings.
In the same way, mindful eating is based on the perspective of being grateful for the meal you are having and showing gratitude with every bite you are eating. Mindfulness is not only limited to living in the present but it also inspires people to be compassionate towards others and themselves. By being mindful, we learn how not to be judgmental and how to look at our relationships with the food we eat. It explains quite well how mindfulness and veganism go hand in hand.
Deliberate and purposeful eating
Mindful eating refers to cutting out any distractions while having a meal. Practicing mindfulness inspires people to eat without being involved on their phones or watching television. The purpose is to develop a deep relationship with the food we eat and don’t consider it only as a source of nourishment but also to look beyond and develop a deeper perspective.
The same goes in the case of veganism, for vegan people food is not only necessary for eating and satiating hunger but it is an expression of their morals and beliefs. Mindfulness helps us gain a better mindset and align our thoughts.
For instance, as a person, you might be against animal cruelty but the eating habits might involve the use of meat. It is referred to as the misalignment of actions and beliefs. Mindfulness helps us put focus on what we are believing and what we are doing about it. By practicing mindfulness, we become aware of what we are eating and where it is coming from.
People become aware of what they are consuming and how is it going to affect them and the environment. Not only the consequences but they also focus on the background and sources from where the food is coming to their plate. With the help of mindfulness, people are becoming aware of the production of their food and what nourishment they are providing to their bodies.
Veganism works with the same agenda of making people aware of animal cruelty and making sure that the food item they consume or use does not involve any sort of exploitation of animals. In other words, making people aware of the things they are using or eating is just similar to the principle of mindfulness.
Mindfulness makes your body healthy when you become aware of what you are eating. You start thinking about what you want to give to your body and keep the packaged and processed things at distance.
How to practice mindfulness eating
- Turn off the gadgets near you.
- Spend a good time on your meal and try relishing it.
- Do not fill your plate more than the capacity. Start with less and take more if required.
- Chew your food and it is better to take small bites.
- Focus on the texture, color, taste, and sound it makes. Also, you can pay attention to the movement of your tongue and your jaws while chewing.
- Observe and assess the amount of hunger your body indicates. There are three stages when you need to know how hungry you are, beginning, mid-meal, and at the end.
Author – Prabhleen Gupta is a Life Coach, Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) Master Trainer & Master Hypnotherapist who works with people from all walks of life and helps them deal with past traumas, and insecurities, which in turn helps them to live their dream lives.