With the alarm buzzing followed by countless snoozes, the early rush and traffic is how many people start their day. A busy day with assignments piled for completion and the family commitments popping out every now and then, we barely fail to stop for a minute and breathe. Everyone dreams for a peaceful and happy life with time to interact with friends and family and time to reconnect with themselves.But dreams don't become reality unless they are put into action.
The topic of Mindfulness has gained tremendous amount of attention these days, but people struggle to start as it involves the right mindset and patience. One easy and effective way to practice mindfulness in our daily life is by “ Mindful Eating Practice”. Mindfulness in general refers to the practice of being in the present and paying attention without judging the circumstance/ situation. Likely Mindful Eating is an act of having a sense of awareness of what and how you eat and the experience associated. Having meals is a routine that everyone practices with no choice, so to start inculcating the habit of mindfulness is easy when you can apply it to a task that someone does consistently and subconsciously.
DIABETES AND MINDFUL EATING:
An article published in the American Diabetes Association’s Diabetes Spectrum states Mindfulness to be a component of diabetic self management education. It also states “Through practice over time, eating mindfully can interrupt habitual eating behaviours and provide greater regulation of food choice.” It is of great use to people who find it difficulty to manage portion size as this practice helps people make choices like - to eat less, savour eating more, and select foods consistent with desirable health benefits. It is also noteworthy that this approach may be one of several behavioural tools needed to support key self-care behaviours and improve HbA1c.
SIMPLE STEPS TO MINDFUL EATING:
STEP 1: ENVIRONMENT AND NEEDS
This involves choosing a calm place to dine, it can be a place of your choice but away from distractions such as TV, mobile phones, laptops and other gadgets and not even books. It must be just you and your food. If you are at the office or with family have a social dining area and always eat together. It is also important that you eat when you are hungry.
STEP 2: FOCUS
If you are alone then try to take a few deep breaths so that you can focus on what you eat, if with a group sit down comfortably , have a few simple conversations and start dining.
STEP 3: INDULGE
Try noticing the food on your plate. Feel the colour, taste, texture and smell on your food. Chew slowly and do not eat in haste .The major problem with people these days is that they complain of time constraint to sit down and eat, but time is just a tool (or sometimes even an excuse) it is “YOU” how operates the tool. When you cannot get time, make time by prioritize things and set aside 15 - 20 mins for a food break.
“Do you eat when you work? No,
then why do you want to work while you eat?.”
Also, as you eat visualize about the place from which your food comes from, the farmers working to get the right yield, the harvest and how happy you feel at the moment.
STEP 4: END WITH A GRATEFUL HEART
Once you have done with eating, just take a second to be grateful for the food you had as the food you just had is still a long wished dream for many.
A NOTE OF WORTH:
Adopting a new habit/ approach needs a beginner's mind just like how a newborn learn to stand up and walk, it takes time, it takes effect, you might face short failures but always keep practicing consistently and soon you are about to head transformation.
1. Nelson J. B. (2017). Mindful Eating: The Art of Presence While You Eat. Diabetes spectrum : a publication of the American Diabetes Association, 30(3), 171–174. doi:10.2337/ds17-0015
2. Carla K. Miller(2017) Mindful Eating With Diabetes, Diabetes Spectrum , 30 (2) 89-94;
3. Fanning, J., Osborn, C.Y., Lagotte, A.E. et al. (2018) Relationships between dispositional mindfulness, health behaviors, and hemoglobin A1c among adults with type 2 diabetes, J Behav Med 41: 798.