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Health

What is Mindful Eating?

Think about the last meal you ate. You can probably recall what exactly was on your plate and how much of it, right? But do you remember exactly how you felt during that meal? How quickly did you eat? Did you feel too full or unsatisfied? Fueling your body and mind is essential, especially during college. Actively understanding how your food makes you feel is incredibly beneficial to improving eating habits and living a healthier lifestyle.

Why Mindfully Eat?

Mindful eating is an approach to food that emphasizes listening to your body and its needs. Eating in college often becomes a mindless act or is too rushed to truly understand how your eating habits impact your mind and body. Also, emotional eating and problematic eating habits don’t allow you to truly listen to your body. Emphasis on calorie-counting or skipping meals is especially detrimental to relationships with food, associating eating with feelings of guilt. Incorporating mindful eating practices into your food habits can promote a healthier mindset in eating.

How to Mindfully Eat

Incorporating techniques to promote mindful eating in your routines is much easier than you might think. Eating slowly is one of the best and easiest ways to listen to your body in your eating habits. Focusing on enjoying your meal and how you actually feel during it can dramatically improve your relationship with food. Another important way to incorporate mindful eating is to reduce distractions in your environment. When eating a meal, try not to look at your phone or do work. Instead, focus on your meal and how you feel in that moment. Incorporating these strategies into one meal a day is a good way to start.

Impacts of Mindful Eating

Mindful eating has been shown to improve problematic relationships with food. The effects of emotional eating and calorie-counting, specifically, can be alleviated significantly by incorporating these habits into your routines. Restricting yourself or associating feelings of guilt with eating ignores your body’s needs. Listening to your body and how food makes you feel can positively impact your relationship with food.

Incorporating mindfulness into your daily life, including your eating habits, can promote strong connections to your body and mind. Reducing stress and living a healthier lifestyle is achievable through small, progressive changes to your routine.

Alli Kane

Northwestern '24

Alli is a Freshman at Northwestern University studying Neuroscience and Global Health. In her free time, she loves spending time with friends, working out, and exploring the Chicago food scene.
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