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The Importance of Mindful Eating

In my nutrition workshops I talk a lot about the topic of mindful eating. In fact many of us are guilty of the opposite, ‘passive eating’ which is little or no attention on the food we’re eating as we are distracted at our work desks, watching tv or a movie. This can have a huge impact on our bodies.

Eating is a Sensory Experience

What's important to understand is that eating is a sensory experience involving smell, taste, touch and sound. The smell of food helps us to perceive food aromas and flavours. The taste of food helps us to identify the individual flavours. The texture of  food can influence perceptions of everything from the taste to the freshness of food. Whilst the sound of food  is often considered to be our forgotten flavour sense, which stimulates the anticipation of food. 

Distraction

When we're distracted such as eating whilst working, watching television or our on our phone, our senses become distracted and can result in

- Still feeling hungry - disruption of your satiety centre

- Digestion issues - you may not chew your food properly or you may eat too quickly

Mindful Eating

This is the practice of deliberately paying attention to the process of eating and allows us to engage with our senses.

It helps us gain a greater understanding of

- Internal & external cues that play a role in our eating habits 

- Our satiety (fullness) and hunger systems

- Our body's digestive process

The flavours and sensations of food

-- What foods provide satisfaction and the proper nutrition

How Eat Mindfully

1) Sit at a table whilst eating and remove any distractions such as phones/television/laptops

2) Appreciate the aromas, flavours, textures and colours of the meal

3) Try to identify individual ingredients (this is a sensory exercise)

4) Learn to enjoy cooking and experiment with different ingredients and recipe

5) Remember to slow down and to chew your food!!

6) It should take approx 20 minutes for your satiety (fullness centre) to register that you're full

 

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions,

 

Laurann O'Reilly  - Nutritionist

 

About the Author 

A farmer’s daughter from Tipperary, Laurann has always had an appreciation for food, nutrition and health promotion.

Laurann has an honours BSc. Degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Nottingham and a Masters in Public Health Nutrition from University College Dublin. She is also an Associate Nutritionist with the Nutrition Society London.

With a passion for nutrition and experience working in Ireland and the UK,  Laurann uses her knowledge and skills to help people achieve optimum health and assists in the prevention and treatment of nutritional related problems through means of nutritional consultation, personalised diet plans, health promotion and education.

Connect with Laurann 

About Us 

Laurann has an Honours BSc. Degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Nottingham, a Masters in Public Health Nutrition from University College Dublin, is an Associate Nutritionist with the Nutrition Society London, a professional member of the Celiac Society Ireland, is registered with the Institute of Public Health Ireland and fully insured.

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