Your dad wants to improve his health in 2018. He heard about mindful eating on a show and wants to know more about it. You have questions. Here’s a quick guide about mindful eating.
What is Mindful Eating?
Mindful eating is a system where you listen to your body and your surroundings and start to pay attention to what and why you eat. You’re not just eating while you’re distracted doing something else at the same time. You’re focusing solely on eating.
With mindful eating, you’re using all of your senses to enjoy a meal. You’re smelling the food, tasting each flavor, looking at the colors, feeling the texture, and hearing the crunch. You’re eating slowly as you savor each bite. You’re paying attention to the exact moment you feel full. At that point, you stop eating.
Portion control is a big part of mindful eating. You take only what you need and chew slowly to help that first stage of digestion. Finally, you make smart choices. When you practice mindful eating, you’re not looking for a sugary, high-fat treat. You’re listening to your body and figuring out what it needs. You’re choosing low-fat, high-fiber, and lean protein choices. Fruits and vegetables should be a primary focus.
Why Does Mindful Eating Matter?
A huge portion of men and women in the United States are overweight. Diabetes and prediabetes are being diagnosed at alarming rates. People grew used to eating meals quickly while working, driving, or attending events. Fewer people sit down and focus on the food and how it benefits them.
If you look at many school children, they have around 30 minutes to get through a school lunch. In this 30 minutes, they have to stand in line to get their meal, eat as quickly as possible, clean up their area, bring food trays to the kitchen, and then get in line to go to class or recess. It’s taught kids to focus on school rules and requirements and not the nourishment the food provides.
Your dad likely had to rush his lunch while he was at work. If his workload was too much, he may have picked up the habit of skipping meals entirely. He grabbed fast food after your game or school performance. That’s common and one reason mindful eating habits disappeared over time. It’s not too late to change things.
Make sure your dad sits down with family and friends to enjoy a meal at a slow pace as often as possible. He’ll learn to pick up his body’s cues and stop eating when he’s full rather than when his plate’s empty.
If he can’t cook, a caregiver can cook healthy meals and eat with him. Caregivers can also join him when he goes for a walk to get enough daily exercise. Learn more about how a caregiver can help improve a senior’s life. Call our home care agency today.