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It’s our second week of Mindful Eating for October’s Emotional Wellness Month, and we’re focusing on the second tenet of Mindful Eating:

Patience

Eating-on-the-go has become an art unto itself these days. When we’re not cramming a piece of toast in our mouth while running out the door, we’re cutting our lunch break down to 15? 10? Sometimes even 5 minutes in order to finish a project by deadline. Taking our time with our meals has become a rarer and rarer habit.

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Fast eating comes with a multitude of down-sides. For starters, studies have shown that it disrupts the gut hormones that regulate hunger, leading to shorter fullness periods, which makes you want to eat more. Fast eating is also linked to an increase in bloating from swallowing air, erosive gastritis, and an uptick in the risk of choking.

When we employ mindful eating, we make the most of the moment. We set time aside to just focus on the meal before us and take a break from the daily race. In fact, for some, lunch or dinner might become the only part of our day that isn’t a race, which is all the more reason to do it!

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By slowing down during meal time, we chew more, improve digestion, absorb more nutrients, reduce our stress, and promote a sense of calm in our lives. Studies also show a link between slower eating and weight loss.

There are so many benefits to mindfulness in general, but it’s often hard to equip as a full-time lifestyle. Adopting mindful eating practices is a great way to start.

This week’s challenge: Practice patience during 3 meals this week. If you think you can do it, let us know in the comments!