Mindful eating and health
I love this article!!
Lifestyle medicine is all about looking at the whole person, and how food, environment, exercise, stress, sleep, andsocial connection impacts on health
Mindful eating encompasses many of these - diet, stress, and social connection, and makes so much sense
I love food and love travel (limited at present of course!), and seeing how different cultures embrace and view food and eating is intriguing. In virtually every traditional culture, people prepare and eat food they love, and treat it as something to enjoy and that nourishes the body. They then eat with others, often in long conversational meals
Research show that eating with others, and not rushing, actually reduces cortisol (which in turn reduces blood sugar spikes and weight gain, helps digestion, and improves a feeling of happiness and wellbeing, whereby you're less likely to overeat or comfort eat)
People who eat with others tend to eat less overall calories, and report lower stress, Eating while stressed causes your blood sugar to remain elevated for longer, leading to fatigue, weight gain, and insulin resistance (it can also affect blood sugar levels in diabetes)
Unfortunately in mode society we too often view meals as something we have to do, and do as quickly as possible, often eating on the go /at our desks /while on screens etc
Changing this focus to view food as something to be enjoyed, savoured, and shared with others can be life changing.
This quote from the incredibly wise Thich Nhat Hanh sums it up so well : Honour the food; engage all six senses; serve in modest portions; savour small bites, and chew thoroughly; eat slowly to avoid overeating; don’t skip meals; and eat a plant-based diet, for your health and the planet.
Why don't you try mindful eating with your next meal, and see how it goes - even just sitting down to one meal each day with others and taking the time to savour and honor the food, and enjoy the company of others, can make such a difference!!